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Logojoy: AI-powered logo creator indiehackers.com
1089 points by csallen  1 day ago   321 comments top 54
mikejarema 1 day ago 9 replies      
I'm curious about how the $15k/mo figure is computed.

The story reads as though Logojoy more or less launched on Producthunt, which was 7 days ago. And all posts on the blog are dated Nov 15th. Finally the domain itself seems to have been listed on HugeDomains as of Oct 8th [1].

Now maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the revenue figure is extrapolated from a small window which includes a wave of initial traffic from PH.

I'm hoping that the revenue figure is an actual ongoing sustained amount for Dawson's sake (as it is great looking & functioning product, solves a need that I've faced, and for full disclosure I've been putting together something along these lines on the backburner for awhile), but I can't help but feel this is a bit sensationalized based on what I'm seeing here.

[1] https://web.archive.org/web/20161008092541/http://logojoy.co...

dperfect 1 day ago 3 replies      
> I've been a designer for 12 years or so... I would get frustrated designing logos for small businesses because (a) it was so time-consuming to create 30 mockups, (b) it would take weeks to do those small back-and-forths, and (c) the logo would end up being so simple that I felt like that entire process was a waste... As soon as I had the idea ... I started working on it.

I think this is my favorite part of the story. If you've been a designer (or any profession) for over a decade, even with frequent frustrations, it takes a certain kind of humility and introspection to realize that maybe it's not just about your customers being "broken" (by choosing the designs that take the least effort) or needing to find more sophisticated customers who value your talents.

Sometimes (ok, usually) it makes more sense to build what people really want rather than giving them what we think they should want. As a developer and entrepreneur, I have to be reminded of that fairly often.

tzaman 1 day ago 19 replies      
What struck me the most is going with the old and tried tools (PHP+MySQL). Nowadays everyone - myself included - is trying to have an excuse to try the sexiest JS framework of the day and most of us fail miserably to deliver anything useful - because of lack of experience or just reinventing the wheel altogether.

Old and boring is still sometimes the best.

callmeed 1 day ago 6 replies      
Its refreshing to see a startup doing well and not feeling the need to force a subscription on people.

I get that SaaS can be a good business model (great, even). On the other hand, I think subscription fatigue is real and you should think hard about your pricing. Dawson is making $15K/month on ONE TIME feesand fees that are lower than a lot of monthly SaaS plans.

I want to see more of this.

aus_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
> What really worked for me is building a small product. The big picture I have for Logojoy will take years. I was able to get really excited about it because I decided on the simplest version of it. Spend time deciding on the most critical features to launch with, and only build those.

Great advice.

dawsonwhitfield 1 day ago 34 replies      
Hey guys - Dawson here (founder) let me know if you have any questions about Logojoy / the story.
soneca 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine this was upvoted because of Indiehackers credibility, so people just assumed the achievement of $15k/mo was true.

Until mikejarema noticed in another comment that the product was launched 15 days ago and the title was BS, I believed too. Now I flagged the story because it is basically a lie. And IndieHackers lost a lot of its credibility for me by now.

Other people noticed the AI part is most likely BS too. But that is a less black and white lie than claiming that the creator "makes $15k/mo" when he hasn't made $15k total in the whole product lifetime.

Shame on you indiehackers for outright lying (maybe twice) in the title just to get clicks. You gamed HN for this one, but I have the impression that this will hurt you in the future.

patja 1 day ago 4 replies      
I could not for the life of me figure out what I was supposed to do on the "pick up to 3 symbols" page. And I really tried!
thefalcon 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a graphic designer, I implore you to PLEASE develop that good banner ad creation AI product. There are few things and mind numbing as creating 15 variations of the same banner ad over and over and over... My manager and I would both rather have me working on something else.
pimlottc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very impressing, hits the sweet spot for projects that need a logo but don't have a big budget. A few comments:

* I skipped picking symbols and it generated a logo with a monogram. I wanted to get rid of this so I looked in the Symbol menu and was frustrated not to find it. I eventually found it in "Layout" but that's not the first place I thought to look.

* There's a lot greyed text used on controls, which is both hard to read and makes it look like the controls are disabled. e.g. horizontal scroll buttons, uppercase/lowercase toggle, text input boxes

* Logos on the preview page load slowly/inconsistently at times, leaving the sample images blank. Perhaps use loading indicators or don't show backgrounds until logo is ready.

* reloading the page loses your work (oops)

k__ 1 day ago 2 replies      
I did all the work and then got a registration popup that prevented me from seeing what I was registering for :(
dceddia 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I could offer feedback about the pricing structure -- I think if I didn't know (from the article) that it's free to create unlimited logos, I wouldn't have figured that out by looking at your pricing section.

And I know it says "It's free to build unlimited logos. Only pay when you want to download" right there in plain text under the headline, but my eyes skipped over that part. I expected clickable price boxes too. I think it looks so similar to a typical SaaS pricing page that I assumed it works the same way. I don't know how best to fix it, but it might be worth testing different arrangements to make it clearer that it's free to sign up and create a logo.

blunte 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm happy this guy built something that's generating income, but the results of my attempt to use it just now were really underwhelming. Page after page of COMAPANY NAME on plain cards with different fonts didn't really demonstrate much AI. My takeaway here is that this "story" is not yet a story. Maybe 1-2 years from now, after the product has really developed and evolved, it will be something.
rspeer 20 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're still reading this: could you please allow + in the e-mail address?

I understand why you want me to sign up, but I have no idea how much e-mail you're going to decide to send me, and sending it to a plus-address allows me to filter it on my terms.

There's really no reason not to allow the + sign, unless you're going to do something nefarious with my e-mail address and you don't want me to know it was you.

johns 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should expand to recreational sports teams. The logos all follow similar formats and everyone wants one that looks professional but on a limited budget. There are design services that will do it manually but your algorithm approach would work really well for it as well.
inthaiguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used it but wasn't too impressed with the quality of the results. Squarespace logo builder is still better. The good news is that that lots of people now know there's a market for this and we should see some impressive products in the pipeline.
taytus 1 day ago 1 reply      
So.... ML/AI to me this looks more like a rand() than anything else.What am I missing?
ChicagoBoy11 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just a quick feedback:

I tried making a logo that used the character , and it seemed that some logos rendered that character correctly, but others omitted it. So the word mbile in some logos would display correctly but in others it would show up as mbile.

WheelsAtLarge 1 day ago 1 reply      
Good site, scary site, good because it does a great job at creating a simple logo. I suspect that it can cover the majority of the small companies that want a logo. It certainly does a good job. I tried and created a pretty good one.

I've used other similar sites but they've all been created by a team of programmers and system/network administrators over a few years.

Scary because it brings into focus how easy it is to replace what could be considered a somewhat complicated job. Yes, it can't replace all graphic designers but it magnifies the power of a few by a large factor. In this case, just one motivated individual.

Edit: changed bad to scary, fits better with my thinking, and fixed typos

kevin_thibedeau 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Firefox is not supported. We recommend using chrome.

No joy for me.

gbraad 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The icons seem to come from thenounproject? I saw my own icon (or derivative) being used without attribution.
alexbeloi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Could you go into any more depth about the ML being used?

Also, did the site break from traffic? Because I just finished picking out my things and it's been stuck on generating logos for the past 5 minutes.

amelius 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how this compares to Fiverr [1], which actually has human-power behind it, and lets you create a logo for only a few bucks.

[1] https://www.fiverr.com/categories/graphics-design/creative-l...

kelvin0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
FireFox not supported by LogoJoy. The joy has left me, I really liked the whole idea though.
thasaleni 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if you keep the selected options in browser session, in case i accidentally navigate away from the site, I don't have to retype everything, and also if i favorite a logo the ability to view logos like it (or based on the choices that led to it)
foopod 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you have a plan of attack to ensure that your machine learning will still be able to make really unique logos while at the same time prioritising pleasing aesthetics? Is there an element of mutation where it will suggest something totally obscure?
exolymph 1 day ago 0 replies      
A very similar service that's donation-based: http://emblemmatic.org/markmaker/

The UX isn't as good and the app isn't as full-fledged.

rosstex 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does the coder of Logojoy 'own' the logos that its AI produces?
NegatioN 1 day ago 3 replies      
Really impressive!

I feel there's still so many ideas to make a business around if you base it on ML/AI. Being early here could potentially net a huge passive income. Personally I have an idea in mind, and I'm still learning ML slowly on the side. In my eyes this is the true way to independence from "the system" for people who put in enough effort and who have enough knowledge.

Why do we not see more of this yet? Is the combination of people who know machine learning, and people who are entrepeneurs so narrow?

wheelerwj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now this is pretty cool. of all the articles indiehackers has posted in the last few weeks, this one is actually innovative and new.

very cool!

module0000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Logojoy's page pops up:


We're experience some technical difficulties right now (looking at you, HN). If you experience any bugs, try a couple more times or sign up and come back a little later to make your logo. Thanks!"""

WhitneyLand 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had better luck with these guys:


listic 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was going to say that I could hire a human designer on Upwork to design a logo like that for the same kind of money, but I guess I can't argue with your revenue numbers. Congratulations!
throwawaylalala 1 day ago 0 replies      
I want to promote your product; do you have affiliate options?
hartator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really inspiring story, great product and awesome transparency. Big Kudos for all of this.

This guy deserves VC money to make his next big company than most of the current startups we are seeing.

diyseguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm.. A sophisticated search and mashup with nice presentation - but ... I don't think I'd call it A.I.
thom 1 day ago 1 reply      
Totally read it as 'AI-powered lego creator' and became terribly confused for a few seconds. But still, someone should create one of those.
rajandatta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for posting and sharing your story. It was an inspired use of a learning get algorithm and we can all learn from it. Well done.
tripzilch 18 hours ago 0 replies      
how to "earn" 15k/mo:

"It starts with tracking basically everything our users do."

maybe our machines are learning, but these so-called hackers certainly aren't.

vacri 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I've been a designer for 12 years or so


> Firefox is not supported. We recommend using chrome.

'Best viewed in Netscape Navigator at 800x600'

kdamken 1 day ago 3 replies      
Super beat that you need to sign up for it to view the logos it produced. Enjoy the fake email I guess.
shaunpud 17 hours ago 0 replies      
@csallen Is a bit quiet
rekshaw 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Guys, don't view source. It's a jQuery hell.
innocentoldguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice product. I went through the logo creation process, and I was surprised at how nice some of the logos were. The site was simple to understand and easy to use as well. Excellent job!

The only criticism I have is that the max password length is too short. I couldn't enter the generated, 30-character passwords I typically use.

samstave 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some feedback:

I love the UX/UI - but I cant tell it where to put the color/font selections and it only previews with "COMPANY NAME" instead of actually updating with the company name and slogan that you asked me for in the beginning on the selection process...

So - I don't know if I like the selection based on that because I wanted the reverse of what it offered (I wanted orange letters with grey background - but it only gives me orange bkgd with grey letters...

I would also like a bit better control over the location of the icon.

The "saved logo" update pop-up is confusing as when I go back to logo - it doesn't always hold the design I selected...

Otherwise this is impressive and awesome... I'd like to use it.

PunchTornado 1 day ago 0 replies      
like I'm going to install a new browser just to visit a site. no thanks.
ravins 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great work.
shooray 1 day ago 0 replies      
test it
1 day ago 1 day ago 1 reply      
SilverPaladin 1 day ago 0 replies      
HN is crashing Logojoy lol!
nilved 1 day ago 4 replies      
Their website is broken because of an HTML syntax error.

Cases like this remind me that success is often "right place, right time." Notch is another good example of bad engineering going far.

daxfohl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Makes the case for an AI-powered bug bounty service. Blockchain if big enough.
bikamonki 1 day ago 0 replies      
They say: don't worry! Jobs taken by AI will be replaced by new ones yet to be invented.


oliv__ 1 day ago 2 replies      
Semi-related but wow: /app.php -- hadn't seen that in a while. It's like bumping into an old friend in the street.
Amazon LightSail: Simple Virtual Private Servers on AWS amazonlightsail.com
929 points by polmolea  12 hours ago   500 comments top 96
Someone1234 12 hours ago 25 replies      
Just to be clear: This service is offered by Amazon/AWS themselves, it isn't a third party. That's a question I had when I first clicked, which is why I am answering it here.

One big "gotcha" for AWS newbies which I cannot tell if this addresses: Does this set or allow the user to set a cost ceiling?

AWS have offered billing alerts since forever. They'll also occasionally refund unexpected expenses (one time thing). But they've never offered a hard "suspend my account" ceiling that a lot of people with limited budgets have asked for.

They claim this is a competitor for Digital Ocean, but with DO what they say they charge is what they actually charge. I'm already seeing looking through the FAQ various ways for this to exceed the supposed monthly charges listed on the homepage (and no way to stop that).

Why even offer a service like this if you cannot GUARANTEE that the $5 they say they charge is all you'll ever get charged? How is this different from AWS if a $5 VPS can cost $50, or $500?

That's what Amazon is missing. People want ironclad guarantees about how much this can cost under any and all circumstances. I'd welcome an account suspend instead of bill shock.

2bluesc 11 hours ago 6 replies      
Price breakdown vs DigitalOcean, VULTR and Linode.

Of course all things are not equal (i.e. CPUs, SSDs, bandwidth, etc).

 Provider: RAM, CPU Cores, Storage, Transfer ---------- $5/mo LightSail: 512MB, 1, 20GB SSD, 1TB DO: 512MB, 1, 20GB SSD, 1TB VULTR: 768MB, 1, 15GB SSD, 1TB ---------- $10/mo LightSail: 1GB, 1, 30GB SSD, 2TB DO: 1GB, 1, 30GB SSD, 2TB VULTR: 1GB, 1, 20GB SSD, 2TB Linode: 2GB, 1, 24GB SSD, 2TB ---------- $20/mo LightSail: 2GB, 1, 40GB SSD, 3TB DO: 2GB, 2, 40GB SSD, 3TB VULTR: 2GB, 2, 45GB SSD, 3TB Linode: 4GB, 2, 48GB SSD, 3TB ---------- $40/mo LightSail: 4GB, 2, 60GB SSD, 4TB DO: 4GB, 2, 60GB SSD, 4TB VULTR: 4GB, 4, 45GB SSD, 4TB Linode: 8GB, 4, 96GB SSD, 4TB ---------- $80/mo LightSail: 8GB, 2, 80GB SSD, 5TB DO: 8GB, 4, 80GB SSD, 5TB VULTR: 8GB, 6, 150GB SSD, 5TB Linode: 12GB, 6, 192GB SSD, 8TB
In an easier to read gist: https://gist.github.com/637693650bc8bb9baadf6293a99e1813

Guest98123 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Let me get this straight, right now AWS is billing me $270/mo for 3TB of bandwidth on my autoscaling web servers. With LightSail, I can get that same bandwidth, plus storage and instances for $15/mo?

In total, I'm spending about $15,000/yr on AWS, and someone spending $5/mo gets their bandwidth 18x cheaper than me? Shouldn't it be the other way around, and I should be the one with the discount?

I get enough headaches dealing with reserved instances, and trying to buy them at the correct time of the year to line up with price drops. Now, I need to consider dumping my autoscaling groups, EC2 web servers, and moving them to LightSail? Why not just give us a fair price on bandwidth, instead of more complications?

STRML 11 hours ago 3 replies      
A compelling product. The dashboard looks great. They even replaced the confusing term "user data" with "launch script", but they fall back into it later. SSH in-browser is great too and can be bookmarked/opened in a fullscreen tab. Uploading (instead of pasting) your SSH pubkey is a bit annoying.

The docs appear to say you can add these to a VPC but I don't see how to do it.

They don't say the SSD storage is local, so I'm sure it's not.

A few runs with `fio` confirms this is EBS GP2 or slower:

The bench: "fio --name=randrw --ioengine=libaio --direct=1 --bs=4k --iodepth=64 --size=4G --rw=randrw --rwmixread=75 --gtod_reduce=1"

Lightsail $5:

 read : io=3071.7MB, bw=9199.7KB/s, iops=2299, runt=341902msec write: io=1024.4MB, bw=3067.1KB/s, iops=766, runt=341902msec
DigitalOcean $5:

 read : io=3071.7MB, bw=242700KB/s, iops=60674, runt= 12960msec write: io=1024.4MB, bw=80935KB/s, iops=20233, runt= 12960msec
More than an order of magnitude difference in the storage subsystems.

These appear to just be t2.nano instances (CPU perf is good, E5-2676 v3 @ 2.40 GHz, http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/8164581).

For advanced users, there isn't much compelling here to make up for the administration overhead. It's a little cheaper than a similar-spec t2.nano (roughly $4.75 on-demand + $3 for a 30GB SSD). The real win is egress cost; you can transfer EC2->Lightsail for free. 1TB of egress would be nearly $90 on EC2, but is only $5 on Lightsail.

In other news, EC2 egress pricing is obviously ridiculous.

ajkjk 12 hours ago 9 replies      
I'm amused by the model they have in their banner: a bearded, tattooed man wearing what appears to be a .. cape? We've come a long way since the stock photos of 'smiling super-normal people wearing ties, huddled around a computer'.
IgorPartola 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a non-starter without IPv6. I know some of you will be tempted to jump ship from DO and Vultr, but please remember that by doing so you will continue enabling Amazon to hold back progress. While ignoring AWS is not really an option, as it offers some very unique features that are quite useful, this thing does not.

DO is not great in this regard as their butcher their allocations, but Vultr gives each VPS a proper /64. Scaleway has partial IPv6 support (not for their bare metal could, but their VPS's do support it).

I urge you to vote with your wallets, unless you really like paying $1/month or more per IP for the foreseeable future.

anilshanbhag 12 hours ago 7 replies      
Here is a comparison of $20 instances across DO, Linode and LightSail

All have 3TB transfer

Linode(Best): 4GB RAM, 2 Core, 48 GB SSD

DO: 2GB RAM, 2 Core, 40 GB SSD

LightSail(Worst): 2GB RAM, 1 Core, 40 GB SSD

I use this exact instance on Linode for my site https://dictanote.co; that one extra core makes a lot of difference when you want to take a backup of db or something intensive like that.

meritt 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Is there anything preventing me from using these servers as proxies with incredibly cheap bandwidth? I assume it stacks? When we reach transfer limits I can just spin up an additional $5 instance to add another 1TB?

$5/mo per 1TB of bandwidth = $5.00 / 1024 = $0.0049/GB compared to EC2's normal $0.09/GB -- That's a 91-95% discount on egress data!

raitom 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Meanwhile, in France: https://www.scaleway.com/

Same thing with OVH, you can get a powerful dedicated server with unlimited bandwidth for the price of a medium EC2 instance. I hope they will open their datacenter in California soon.

Veen 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I think a million VPS hosting companies just cried out in terror.

The major reason to use a VPS host instead of AWS is that AWS is complicated. This seems to be just as simple as DO or a million other VPS hosts, with the added benefit that it's easy to hook up to Amazon's other services if you need to.

falcolas 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Worth noting: $0.09 per GB for bandwidth overages. So, your $5 server with 1TB out becomes a $95 if you have 2TB out.
scosman 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the first cheap bandwidth option I've seen on AWS. Transferring 1TB out of S3 or EC2 is costs about $90, but is included in a $5 server with Lightsail.
sidcool 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Noob question. How's this different from an EC2 instance in a VPC?
jakozaur 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Just announced on AWS Reinvent Keynote.

It's nicely packaged their existing products (EC2, VPC, ...). So you can get Digital Ocean like experience on AWS. You can still tune the underlying services.

phillmv 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It just dumps you into a revamped, less intimidating AWS console so I wouldn't be too concerned about this for now.

The thing that keeps me away from AWS services is the depth of the service - I need to be an expert in AWS on top of knowing how to configure my servers, which for now is maybe a non starter.

It does show you the power of packaging: with a simple domain and thrown together marketing page, you too can target another market segment.

SwellJoe 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny to me that Amazon has looped all the way back around to this, while a bunch of smaller providers who've been doing this for over a decade have been trying to catch up with AWS on all the other fronts. But, realistically, for a lot of users, AWS is a stupidly complex beast just to get a website up and running. I've written a bunch of code that interacts with AWS APIs in two languages, and I still require a couple of hours to spin up anything new there.

But, as others note, the variable cost factor seems to still be a sticking point. I can setup a Digital Ocean droplet, or Linode, or one of a dozen other low-cost VPS providers, for $5 or $10 a month, and I know it will never cost more than that. Maybe I'll bump into memory, disk, or bandwidth limits...but, AWS is a killer if you aren't careful. I used to maintain (and pay for, out of pocket) a non-profit's website on AWS, and the price ballooned while I wasn't paying attention, due to automated backups to S3 and some other stuff, and by the time I noticed was costing me $183/month, for a website that could easily run on a cheap VPS. My fault for not paying closer attention, not setting up cost alerts, etc., but I moved the site off of AWS and onto one of my own web servers, where it literally costs me single digit dollars to run (it has many GBs of email but otherwise is a small site with very low traffic).

So...unless they're giving me some reason to think I won't end up with a massive bill one month because of a popular post, or something, I probably still won't think "I know, I'll use AWS!", unless it's a situation where I need the scaling capabilities of AWS.

jqueryin 12 hours ago 2 replies      
My guess is Amazon wants to rope people into their ecosystem, and they've recognized that many startups have opted for the cheaper VPS providers in their bootstrap days.

This is an intriguing move and one that I'm sure DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr have been fearing may happen.

The pricing is on par with these alternatives in the VPS space.

hbosch 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I hate to deviate from the topic, but... is the guy on the front page wearing a red cape?
ralmidani 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A quick look at the pricing shows these are plagued by the same problems as DO's offerings: only RAM scales linearly with price, while CPU, storage, and data transfer do not.

Linode and OVH, while not as prestigious as AWS and DO, offer much more fair pricing when you need more resources.

terda12 11 hours ago 0 replies      
When I started out webdev, I was told that I should use AWS. But not having known how private/pubkeys work, or how ssh workds, how servers worked, it felt a lot like being thrown in the deep end of the pool.

Then I used digitalocean because of the free 1 year server time github gave me and everything was a breeze. They had tutorials for a lot of stuff, like how pubkeys and privatekeys worked, how to use ssh, how a server works, how to use nginx/apache, and even node.js stuff. I got up and running quickly even though it was my first time using a VPS. It was super easy, and the best part was with my knowledge gained from DigitalOcean, I was able to start using AWS with relative ease.

I think Lightsail is a good competitor to DigitalOcean, good for newbies who can't exactly figure out how much their server will use and charge them. But imo, with the same stats and stuff as DigitalOcean as a newbie I'd stick with DigitalOcean just because of how helpful their tutorials are in general and how helpful their interface is.

brilliantcode 8 hours ago 2 replies      
What a day for AWS on HN. 8 AWS products made it to front page. I've learned new AWS product like Cognito today just from the comments (ironically in the "Google is Challenging AWS" thread).

I feel as excited as I was for Azure's Build 2016. Now I'm feeling pulled to AWS. This is great for AWS, not so much for Google Cloud which further fades into obscurity in my mind. I'd love to see that change, more competition in the cloud space = more options for us developers = more conditions in our favour.

Amazon LightSail just killed digitalocean for me which has been steadily getting more expensive (for instance I can't downsize to a less expensive plan once I resize my image, meaning I forked out $100/month for something that would work for $5/month + multiple DO images now cost monthly fee.

$5/month + tight integration with AWS products is enough for me to move completely off DO. If only AWS had DO's community style documentation, I'd definitely question DO's future viability.

Now a killer IDE from AWS that lets me deploy and configure AWS without leaving the IDE, that's a checkmate move, which I think will be very difficult for me to switch to another cloud provider. Right now things are in flux but I think an in-browser/desktop IDE like Cloud 9 with one click deploy to AWS would be the end game for other cloud providers.

tyingq 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I can almost feel the pucker over at DigitalOcean, Linode, etc. It may not be a better product, but that doesn't necessarily matter, given the brand power.
jjcm 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Keep in mind if you are a current EC2 customer and are excited about a cheaper VPS in your region, the VPSs are only available in Virginia. I was pretty excited about a cheaper VPS I could provision in the Sydney area, but these are restricted to a single datacenter.
xfalcox 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Just ran a bench on then, and the Disk per is bad.


hackcrafter 11 hours ago 0 replies      
What I was hoping for was a bare-metal (not-run through VMs) container runtime like Joyent Triton[0] but with more pay-for-what-you-use pricing.

Unlike VMs, which statically allocate mem whether you use it or not, containers have the chance to grow and reduce mem as workfloads go up and down, which means you could pay for GB/h of mem usage on the right-sized # of vCPU base.

Not sure if any IaaS/PaaS is doing this.

Joyent pricing[1] is still for static resource allocation and not cheap compared to these larger players.

[0] https://www.joyent.com/triton[1] https://www.joyent.com/pricing

jedisct1 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Lightsail: $5/mo 512 MB, 1 core, 20 GB SSD, bandwidth cap -- Scaleway: $3.2/mo 2 GB memory, 2 cores, 50 GB SSD, unmetered bandwidth.

Lightsail 2: $10/mo 1 GB memory, 1 core, 30 GB SSD, bandwidth cap -- Scaleway: $10/mo 8 GB memory, 6 cores, 200 GB SSD, unmetered bandwidth.

OVH virtual servers have also always been cheaper than Lightsail, and bandwidth is of course unmetered: https://www.ovh.com/us/vps/vps-ssd.xml

soccerdave 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is very appealing to me just because of the amount of bandwidth that is included. I currently serve 20TB/month of static assets for only $160 spread among Softlayer, Digital Ocean and Linode VPSs. If I can host my static assets on the same network as AWS for the same price then that is a huge win, especially since all new Softlayer VPSs only come with a measly amount of bandwidth.
polack 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The more you pay the worse performance (per $) you get. Pretty much a "take 2 pay for 3" kind of deal.No matter if it's a good price or not I would feel like a schmuck if I went for any other option than the 5$ one.
nodesocket 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I just created two 512MB Ubuntu instances and here are my thoughts. (+ indicates positive, - indicates negative, ? question)

 + You can use private networking for cross-instance communication. + You can even communicate with other AWS services by using VPC peering. + Hourly billing. - The firewall rules are not shared. You can't create a single rule and attach to multiple instances. ? What are the network throughput caps? Can't find it anywhere? ? Are the disk physical or using EBS? ? Can you snapshot a running instance, or does it have to stopped?

nodesocket 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I am the only one interested in performance? Do these perform like t2 instances (http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/t2-instan...) which are burstable and capped? What's are the network limits? Are the disks physical or using EBS?

I don't understand why everybody on this thread is complaining about overages? If you use more than the allocated amount you pay overages, simple idea. Why in the world, would you want your server to just shut down when you reach a limit?

simonebrunozzi 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is going to be a hard blow for DigitalOcean.

I don't have huge hopes for their business going forward.

scotchio 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. Pricing is worse than Digital Ocean here. Looks like Linode is still best bang for buck strictly for price to power.

Random thoughts from shameless noob:

- I like Digital Ocean's OS/app images for speed / smaller projects. Looks like Lightsail offers this with Bitnami. Not sure how complicated that is in their console.

- Amazon IAM comes with a bit too much overhead for noobies like myself. Glad this doesn't require you to set that up when you just want a quick and dirty VPS.

- Bah. Resizing/upgrading requires you to do it through API currently. That kind of sucks.

- Nice! 30 day free trial.

jedisct1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Price breakdown LightSail vs DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, OVH, and Online.net / Scaleway: https://gist.github.com/justjanne/205cc548148829078d4bf2fd39...
Hello71 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The FAQ is extremely unclear, but if I'm understanding it right, doesn't this make transfer out to Internet significantly cheaper if you insist on using AWS? Instead of paying $0.09/GB, transfer to Lightsail for $0.02/GB then transfer out for $5/1000 GB=$0.005/GB. You do have to deal with changing IP, but you get a 1.26 order of magnitude decrease in price, and that's assuming you don't bother actually using the extra compute.
brandur 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice: a much needed simplification of the AWS product surface area. While their plethora of functions and features are tremendously useful for big shops, but are a pretty high bar newer entrants.

Now if they could just get to the point where $5 gets you a running Docker container running on the equivalent of the Lightsail VPS (without setting up the backing EC2 infrastructure like ECS), I suspect that's closer to the platform that many users really want to have ...

djrogers 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like a great option for a utility server for existing AWS customers. With VPC peering you get free and fast transfer between one of these and your existing AWS infrastructure, but in a nice one-price VPS.

I also wouldn't be too surprised to see some people using these as middle-man boxes to reduce transfer costs associated with EC2 - $5 for 1TB is darned cheap for AWS. Using one of these to back up data from some EC2 hosts would be a win.

tomschlick 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Any word on if this includes IPv6 addresses?
esteer 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a little confused. How is this different from EC2?
ridruejo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
People focusing just on pricing miss the point. The key factor here is that it is easy to get started but if you need to scale you have the full power of AWS offering and ecosystem that cannot be matched by VPS providers
EasyTiger_ 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Still isn't enough for me to pull my sites off DO. Plus, DO don't have a reputation for treating staff like absolute dogshit.
brianbreslin 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This puts DigitalOcean in a tough spot. They aren't going after the top-tier get your hands dirty customers AWS usually caters to, and they aren't going after the no-tech skills audience of godaddy/bluehost/dreamhost etc. So now it becomes a marketing battle for the middle.
mark242 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Quick feedback for the AWS team:

* First, this is great. The simplified interface vs EC2 is terrific. This is the direction EC2 (and RDS and S3 and basically everything) needs to be going.

* Instances you start in LightSail don't show up in your EC2 console. I would expect there to be some kind of data sharing there.

* Similarly, creating a "static IP address" doesn't show up in your elastic IP list. I'm not sure if this is intentional, but to manage two different views of products that you're billing me for is... troublesome.

* Last, if I could migrate elastic IPs from EC2 to LightSail I'd be migrating all of my instances immediately. The bandwidth savings are massive. (Related: when is the 2TB limit for a t2.small going to be migrated over to EC2?)

sathishvj 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Hopefully Google Computer Engine will also compete at this price now. Even though it seems to be cheaper than AWS in addition to having a good interface, it'd be good to get a bunch of cheaper servers to do the small projects and also give it out to developers in situations where static ips are a requirement.
k2enemy 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd love to give this a try for my mail server that is currently hosted on Linode. Half the price would be great.

Does anyone have experience with how "clean" the AWS IP addresses are? I'd hate to switch to Lightsail and have to deal with deliverability and spam blacklist issues. I've been fortunate to have had zero issues on Linode.

sheraz 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I have a growing list of cloud / vps providers I like to kick the tires on. I'll be adding this to the list as well.
drej 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I use AWS for a bunch of things, but the console has always been immensely painful to use, especially to create a no frills simple VPS for a fiver. For that reason alone, I use DigitalOcean and fiddle with AWS authentication if I need to use some of its services there.

Lightsail looks excellent since the setup is just a gazillion times more user friendly than the standard EC2. A single page affair, a launch script, authentication, it's all there. Once launched, I get all the info and metrics I need.

I kinda wish they streamlined their usual console to this level, but this way it's fine as well. I don't tend to use S3 and EC2 as much as I'd like given its non-existent UX, but this gives me hope that Amazon is taking user experience seriously.

Sure, it may be underpowered compared to DO or Linode, but having all services under one roof is worth it to me. I'm happy.

sgloutnikov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
While on this topic, does anyone have any experience with DreamCompute (https://www.dreamhost.com/cloud/computing)? I was thinking about trying them out, but could not find any reviews/thoughts about them. They seem to offer a lot, for very low prices. Here's more -- https://help.dreamhost.com/hc/en-us/articles/217744568-What-...
zyngaro 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Very expensive. The 40$/mo plan on Linode, gives and you 4 cores and 8GB ram.
ilaksh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you read the fine print, the price and performance isn't actually as good as Digital Ocean and a few other similar services, so unless you actually are using AWS services AND need your VM to be in the same VPC or data center as the services, then it doesn't make sense.
ngrilly 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Very smart move from Amazon.

The main advantage of Amazon LightSail over DigitalOcean are: built-in firewall (instead of messing with iptables), managed database with AWS RDS, and using S3 with a low latency and no networking cost.

wazoox 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I still don't get the VPS craze. For similar prices from OVH, online.net, Hetzner, etc. you've got vastly more powerful physical servers with vastly larger storage... What's the point really?
clooless 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just created a "Magento" instance and attached a static IP. It still unreachable with a browser after a few hours. What did I do wrong?
danso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, what perfect timing. I just got approved for AWS Educate and was prepared to do the work to batch auto-provision EC2 instances for my students, but this is much easier to deal with. And at $5 a month for the cheapest machine, it's about what I would have paid to set up a t2-nano instance (~$4.70). I didn't need anything fancy, just wanted students to have their own machine to deploy public-facing code (e.g. APIs).

The in-browser SSH also deals with the problem of students who are on Windows machine. You haven't hated PuTTY until you've tried walking a student through it on their Surface Pro.

stevesun21 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the web based firewall configuration feature.Hope Linode and DO adopte it.
jsamuel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Confirmed that LightSail works with ServerPilot (https://serverpilot.io/).

LightSail's default firewall opens ports 22 (SSH) and 80 (HTTP) but has 443 (HTTPS) closed. That seems like a terrible default for making a developer-friendly service. Hopefully they fix that and open 443 by default. Otherwise, a lot of wasted time is going to be spent by developers who have configured SSL on their sites and don't know why it isn't working.

LightSail feels very similar to DreamCompute that DreamHost launched, including the approach of only allowing SSH public key auth without any option of using password auth. So, they're intentionally leaving out some users with that approach.

neom 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Given the long term strategy of DigitalOcean and how vastly different it is from what AWS seems to be executing on, I don't think this announcement actually changes things for DO that much. There is a mass consolidation about to happen in the IaaS space and it's smart for AWS to capture some amount of that.
kohanz 12 hours ago 3 replies      
How much of a threat is this to Digital Ocean, Linode, and others?
tamalsaha001 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is exciting. In case any AWS folks are reading this, are there any plans to support Debian 8 as Bare OS?
secabeen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty good. I'm currently paying about $3.50/mo for my existing t2.nano-based reserved VPS, and this provides a lot more space and bandwidth for not much more money. If they offered it with a reserved-instance discount, it would be even more compelling.
chrisper 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems that you can only create instances in Virginia and you can only choose between Ubuntu 16.04 and Amazon Linux.
bfrog 9 hours ago 0 replies      
One day their pricing and performance might actually be competitive. Today is not that day.
adnanh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Small print: Some types of data transfer in excess of data transfer included in your plan is subject to overage charges.
rjurney 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What is this service? I can't figure out how different it is from Linux on EC2.
stephanheijl 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I could see the appeal of some of the lower range hardware plans, but especially the higher tiers seem way off in terms of pricing. Can someone clarify why a 2 core/8GB machine costs 80$, where other IaaS providers charge far less for such rigs? (DigitalOcean gets you 4 cores for 80$/m, TransIP gets you 4 cores, 8GB and 300GB SSD for <55$/m...)
N0RMAN 11 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr Only available in us-east-1 (N. Virginia)
Kephael 11 hours ago 0 replies      
With how versatile the AWS ecosystem is and the quality of the Amazon brand this has the potential to absolutely demolish most of the small time VPS providers. Unless you provide a niche such as DDoS protection or PCI/HIPAA compliant hosting I do not see how you can compete for legitimate customers.
dschulz 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't see anything disruptive here. I already have roughly the same cost/benefit with Linode.
msh 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Strange, I can't seem to find the price of bandwidth when you exceed the included 1 TB.
nik736 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The performance of DO is far superior compared to Lightsail. Disk speed is a joke, network seems to be limited to 50MB/s (which is not that bad) and who knows how much they throttle the CPU.
amq 10 hours ago 0 replies      
So, it is basically the EC2 "t" family with a simpler (but almost equal) pricing and simpler administration.

 t2.nano = $5 t2.micro = $10 t2.small = $20 t2.medium = $40 t2.large = $80

usaphp 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Digital Ocean still has a better pricing, for example for $20 on Digital Ocean you are getting 2 CPU server vs 1 cpu on amazon. Also $80 Digital Ocean offers 4CPU server while Amazon gives you only 2CPU.
magicbuzz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sigh. US-only. That kills it for me.
kzisme 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I understanding this correctly?

DO and LightSail are close (if not) exactly the same spec wise?

All that's I've read so far essentially states that.

nsebban 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to me the exact same service existed already, by picking a stack on Bitnami's website, and single-click-launching it on AWS.The price structure is clearer on Lightsail though.
mfisher87 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Why are a full half of the front-page stories about Amazon?
staked 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This is certainly more in my price range for personal stuff (family sites, etc). Definitely going to take advantage of the free 30 days to kick the tires. Curious to see what sort of server monitoring is included.
dfrey 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess this service might prevent people from migrating off Amazon services to DigitalOcean (or other VPS providers), but I don't really see a compelling reason to use this service instead of DigitalOcean.
popol12 11 hours ago 0 replies      
OVH is still cheaper, with half the disk space but 4 time the RAM.
unoti 9 hours ago 0 replies      
No nonsense predictable pricing is what drove me to Rackspace years ago. Good for Amazon figuring this out.
tomphoolery 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow I didn't know Amazon bought DigitalOcean ;-)
gigatexal 9 hours ago 0 replies      
meh the pricing fails in comparison to say linode.com's offerings. https://www.linode.com/pricing

granted with AWS you probably get access to other AWS products so there's that...

api 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Not terribly impressed. It's like Digital Ocean and Vultr but with no IPv6 and no direct network interface.

What I love about VPSes as opposed to AWS, Azure, or Google is that you get a completely a la carte box with a direct interface right to the Internet and both IPv4 and an IPv6 /64. You can instantly provision "servers" that you can do anything you want with -- you can treat them like "pets" to run a personal blog or a legacy app, or you can herd them like "cattle" with your favorite management and provisioning tools. The pricing is great and the infrastructure is mix and match.

Many VPS providers (Vultr and I think DO as well) will even let you upload and install an ISO directly onto the KVM instance over the web. That means you can install OpenBSD or even weird OSes. I've heard of people putting wacky stuff like OS/2 in the cloud this way. Some even allow nested virtualization.

A VPS is ideal for a large number of common work loads, but not all. For things where I want to make extensive use of AWS's managed services or where I want to have something more akin to a private data center, EC2 and similar offerings from Microsoft and Google are great. But for those I want the whole enchilada. If I'm going there I want everything the EC2 management console and API gives me including full-blown VPC, etc.

This seems to occupy an uncanny valley. Without IPv6, direct networking, etc. it's a crummy VPS, but it's not as rich as EC2. The only pluses I see are direct access to AWS services (but if I want that I probably want EC2) and AWS's security and uptime "guarantees."

Problem with the latter is that it's largely marketing. I've routinely clocked 300-day-plus uptimes on Digital Ocean and I've also had EC2 instances mysterious die or go into a coma. They might have something to say on security, but I've never seen any real proof that AWS security is intrinsically superior to their competition. Neither DO nor Vultr has had a recent major breach AFIAK and they all seem to use the same virtualization tech.

St-Clock 11 hours ago 0 replies      
They advertise a 99.95% EC2 SLA. Does that mean that an instance in a single AZ can go down anytime for any length of time?
chintan16 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Time to move from DigitalOcean finally
dorfsmay 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The pricing/specs are suspiciously very similar to one of the largest VPS provider.
imdsm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
PSA: The chap in the photo is wearing a cape.
blairbeckwith 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Really wanted to get more information on this, but all of their Docs links currently 404.
nepotism2016 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This site cant be reached

I guess I google virtual private servers

debt 12 hours ago 0 replies      
i'm still using linode. been using it for 10 years.
nikolay 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Digital Ocean is in trouble!
ne0free 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I pay ~25$ for8 gb - 1tb - unlimited bwFrom online.net.. 80$ is ridiculous
dbdhbdvdv 5 hours ago 0 replies      
desireco42 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I meant to say that it was about time someone comes up with something like this, but seems that in the details AWS complexity can still bite you.

Is there a service, that you know of, that would simplify AWS so that we can just use it with predictable expenses and ability to grow? Maybe I am asking for too much.

utopcell 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Having upper ceilings in charging is a big deal for me.

For this I prefer https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/

CyberChef A Cyber Swiss Army Knife gchq.github.io
775 points by robin_reala  2 days ago   136 comments top 29
lordelph 2 days ago 9 replies      
This looks like a handy tool, certainly for puzzles and exploring encodings. It makes decoding puzzles like this very quick! 11100111 10111011 10011101 11100100 10111000 10001101 11100100 10111100 10011010 11100110 10010100 10111110 11100101 10111100 10000011 11100100 10111101 10100000
yarrel 2 days ago 5 replies      
For those of you who don't know what GCHQ is, it's the UK's NSA with all the problems that entails -


"In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK via the Tempora programme."

JanSolo 2 days ago 4 replies      
Glad to see that CyberChef supports Numberwang. There are many nefarious uses that such a complicated numerical system could be put to. I'm happy that our intelligence agencies are on top of this.
mmaunder 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is actually quite useful if you're doing day-to-day forensic work and are trying to de-obfuscate code or are creating proof of concepts.

The interface is really slick and it lets you create an infinite number of recipes/permutations.

String processing is much of what we do in security.

Yay for GCHQ. You'll find me at the bottom of this page due to an omission of obligatory IC bashing and Snowden fanboyism.

mi100hael 2 days ago 1 reply      
Though it doesn't say so, at a glance it looks like it's entirely browser-based and doesn't communicate with a server in any way. Pretty handy project. Code looks clean, too.
fjarlq 2 days ago 2 replies      
It took me a minute to figure out that doubleclicking the actions in the left column is required to add them to the recipe.
supernumerary 2 days ago 1 reply      
Incidentally, at least one of the images comes from here:(and they're in violation of the attribution license).


I wonder if that image has had many visitors ...

zitterbewegung 2 days ago 5 replies      
Neat project and slick interface! Does the gchq use this tool internally? Did you have a use case already in mind for this?This would be pretty useful as a web developer. A good idea would be to add a JSON validator.
jimmy171 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm trying something very simple and I can't figure out if the flaw is on me or on them.

1. Take a base64 encoded payload as Input: "AAAAI9Dw0qHYq9+61/XPtJS20bTAn+yV5o/hh+jK8J7rh+vLtpbr". I use the "From Base64" module.2. The result is differential XOR crypt. The seed is 171. I select the XOR module and use 171 as the key. Then i pick "differential" option. Doesn't work.

Recipe:[{"op":"From Base64","args":["A-Za-z0-9+/=",false]},{"op":"Drop bytes","args":["0","4",false]},{"op":"XOR","args":[{"option":"Hex","string":"AB"},false,true]}]

Am I missing something? This is a very simple example.

The simple python code that decodes it is this:

def decrypt(string): key = 171 result = "" for i in string: a = key ^ ord(i) key = ord(i) result += chr(a) return result

string = "AAAAKtDygfiL/5r31e+UtsWg1Iv5nPCR6LfEsNGlwOLYo4HyhueT9tTu36Lfog=="

result = decrypt(base64.b64decode(string)[4:])

print "decoded: ", resultprint "Length: " , struct.unpack("I", string[0:4])

fatdog 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice wysywyg security tool that will teach people concepts behind the interface. In my day we'd just use perl or python, but this opens up the field to beginners.
rmchugh 2 days ago 0 replies      
oh look, the people who spy on the entire Internet are giving us free candy!
fatdog 2 days ago 2 replies      
Great honeypot as well. If a malware analyst dumps one of their intelligence agency canary strings from one of their spyware packages, they can use it to track the discoverer.

If I were a spook, I would totally be releasing reversing tools that alerted on my encoded code words.

_pdp_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a very handy tool - very full in terms of features as well. I really like that you can drag and drop components and configure them in order to create a transform. Very nice!

Here is my attempt to make something similar although less featureful: https://encoder.secapps.com/

I will try to incorporate some of these features.

Bartweiss 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is an interesting tool, and I'll happily use it for puzzle solving, but I'm concerned that it misrepresents itself in a dangerous way.

From the About link:

> "CyberChef encourages both technical and non-technical people to explore data formats, encryption and compression."

> "It is expected that CyberChef will be useful for cybersecurity and antivirus companies."

From the backing Github readme, which as far as I can see is not directly linked on the page:

> "Cryptographic operations in CyberChef should not be relied upon to provide security in any situation. No guarantee is offered for their correctness."

Now, it's fair to say that professional security types should assume the 'no guarantee' bit. But it's not fair to offer it up as a one-stop-shop for non-programmers to handle encryption tasks, and then offer no caveat at all in the primary reference page. It's even less acceptable when the About page implies the opposite.

the_duke 2 days ago 1 reply      
Gaffer looks interesting: scalable Graph DB based on Hadoop.


The API seems a bit weird though...

donpdonp 2 days ago 0 replies      
This would make an intersting server-side service. I was hoping I could POST the json "code" and input, and get an answer in the HTTP body. Sort of a "Lambda 101" project.
vinayan3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks this is awesome. For some of this stuff I usually use the Python REPL. But why go through the hassle when it's all here for stuff like date time conversions etc..
homakov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would be nice to "export as JS"
nthcolumn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why would anyone in the UK need these? They're gloating?
thow_me 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't it be British Army Knife?
stcredzero 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now run the entire site through the "cheferizer" and we can have the SwedishCyberChef!
jnbiche 2 days ago 3 replies      
As cool as this looks, not sure how this is any easier to use than a simple Python or Ruby script (or even Bash, if that's more your thing).

EDIT: In lieu of downvoting, would someone like to explain their disagreement? I'm curious. Perhaps this would open up certain programming powers up to non-coders, but for anyone who knows how to code, it seems much easier to just write a script to make these kinds of transformations.

homerguy69 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there an accessible REST api? Would be neat.
phaed 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wish it wasn't food themed.
bahjoite 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ah look, it even has snowflakes.
ergot 2 days ago 4 replies      
What does it do? The about link does not gracefully degrade when JavaScript is disabled, which is bad design.
45h34jh53k4j 2 days ago 0 replies      
GCHQ -- NSA without the ethics, answerable only to the King
johansch 2 days ago 2 replies      
After just having watched Oliver Stone's "Snowden" last night it's hard to avoid wondering if there are any potential Snowdens in the GCHQ...

It's also a sobering thought that the people who wrote this stuff (seems neat) may be able to uncover my deepest secrets in seconds if they were so inclined.

And being geeks, I'm sure they read this. gulp

(As far as I can tell, github.com/gchq is from the actual GCHQ.)

This is mostly a job ad. Don't go there. It's not moral.

Farm Hack: worldwide community of farmers that build and modify our own tools farmhack.org
610 points by Osiris30  1 day ago   99 comments top 10
tjic 1 day ago 6 replies      
I clicked over to this, prepared to hate-read it and leave a caustic comment.

(background: I live on a farm, and have come across dozens if not hundreds of websites that promise to "open source", and/or "crowd source" "innovative", "new" plans for farm tools, all of which are either useless, overly complicated, too much work to build, or better bought as a working product from Tractor Supply.)

...and - much to my surprise - this website actually has a fair number of really decent ideas.

"Pastured pig waterer", "Home built no-till seed drill", and a few others all look interesting.

FWIW, over the next year or two I'd like to design and weld up a potato row mounder and a potato harvester, both designed to attach via three point hitch to my tractor. They're commercially available, but not locally, and shipping on big stuff like this is killer.

edblarney 1 day ago 0 replies      
This has been going on since the dawn of time.

Farmers are the original entrepreneurs, they are all hacking, all the time, sharing their hacks.

It's unbelievable how much knowledge most farmers have.

Mister_Snuggles 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had no idea that a large-capacity scale[0] was something that I could reasonably build myself. Granted, I don't need one, but I can think of a bunch of non-farming uses for something like that.

Some of the concepts, like the vertical garden, could give city-dwellers the opportunity to grow their own food on an apartment balcony or make better use of a small back yard.

[0] http://farmhack.org/tools/livestock-weigh-scales

drumttocs8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me a bit of Open Source Ecology (http://opensourceecology.org/) and their Global Village Construction Set. Haven't kept up with these guys- not sure on their progress anymore.
vram22 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Whole Earth Catalog might be useful for people interested in these topics. I first read it as a kid. All kinds of very interesting and useful info for gardening, farming, food production, makers [1], living partly off the grid, health, etc. etc. Don't know if they still produce it [2] or if there is anything equivalent these days. Would be interesting to know.

[1] e.g. the Japanese saws that I mentioned in one of my recent comments - I read about them in the Whole Earth Catalog.

[2] Update: Just googled and found this:


prawn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I visited Four Seasons farm last year in Maine. They do a lot of open experimenting and share their ideas. Four I was shown were:

 - washing machine converted to a large salad spinner - a hand drill with a mop on the end, plus a slicing blade and catching bag (for picking lettuce) - a 12-tine rake to which you'd attach a combination of hose segments specific to the seed row spacing you needed - a green house on rollers so you could start seeds undercover and then move the framework without replanting anything

delegate 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just read this article and I think it brings a bit more perspective:


Open source farming hardware is the right way to do it.

codeulike 1 day ago 0 replies      
Farming is basically hacking of ecosystems, when you think about it.
Kinnard 1 day ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of open-source ecology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S63Cy64p2lQ
lowglow 1 day ago 3 replies      
I recently wrote[0] something related about my observations on toolmakers and their craft.

"In life you're a tool maker or a tool user. What we're building at Baqqer[1] is a tool. Here's something I've noticed about tools and the people that make them. There are ultimately two types of tool makers.

The first type of tool maker is an observer and participant of their own craft, and as such can make very insightful decisions on how to devise a tool from the systematic understanding of what explicitly and implicitly goes into the work being shaped by these tools. Typically these tools are utilitarian and without form in excess beyond what is absolutely necessary to accomplish the task. This is the truest form of tool.

The second type of tool maker is an observer, but not a participant in a craft. These tool makers tend to be cloning tools with small changes, or seeing a problem where there might not be one, because they might not truly understand the way makers participate in this task of their craft. This is the weakest form of tool.

To say there is not evidence to support contraries in both statements is false, but I would expect these instances to be outliers. These statements also do not dismiss the contributions made by outsiders of a craft, as there is something to be said about observing outside the traditions of a craft. I would even suspect large leaps of innovation in the craft might be made from the application of knowledge and modes of thinking leveraged from other/disparate pursuits."

[0] https://www.facebook.com/dpgailey/posts/10102604703490186?pn...

[1] https://baqqer.com/

Developer Preview EC2 Instances with Programmable Hardware amazon.com
527 points by jonny2112  12 hours ago   157 comments top 33
fpgaminer 5 hours ago 1 reply      
These FPGAs are absolutely _massive_ (in terms of available resources). AWS isn't messing around.

To put things into practical perspective my company sells an FPGA based solution that applies our video enhancement technology in real-time to any video streams up to 1080p60 (our consumer product handles HDMI in and out). It's a world class algorithm with complex calculations, generating 3D information and saliency maps on the fly. I crammed that beast into a Cyclone 4 with 40K LEs.

It's hard to translate the "System Logic Cells" metric that Xilinx uses to measure these FPGAs, but a pessimistic calculation puts it at about 1.1 million LEs. That's over 27 times the logic my real-time video enhancement algorithm uses. With just one of these FPGAs we could run our algorithm on 6 4K60 4:4:4 streams at once. That's insane.

For another estimation, my rough calculations show that each FPGA would be able to do about 7 GH/s mining Bitcoin. Not an impressive figure by today's standards, but back when FPGA mining was a thing the best I ever got out of an FPGA was 500 MH/s per chip (on commercially viable devices).

I'm very curious what Amazon is going to charge for these instances. FPGAs of that size are incredibly expensive (5 figures each). Xilinx no doubt gave them a special deal, in exchange for the opportunity to participate in what could be a very large market. AWS has the potential to push a lot of volume for FPGAs that traditionally had very poor volume. IntelFPGA will no doubt fight exceptionally hard to win business from Azure or Google Cloud.

* Take all these estimates with a grain of salt. Most recent "advancements" in FPGA density are the result of using tricky architectures. FPGAs today are still homogeneous logic, but don't tend to be as fine grained as they were. In other words, they're basically moving from RISC to CISC. So it's always up in the air how well all the logic cells can be utilized for a given algorithm.

ranman 11 hours ago 12 replies      
If you don't click through to read about this: you can write an FPGA image in verilog/VHDL and upload it... and then run it. To me that seems like magic.

HDK here: https://github.com/aws/aws-fpga

(I work for AWS)

wyldfire 11 hours ago 3 replies      
> Today we are launching a developer preview of the new F1 instance. In addition to building applications and services for your own use, you will be able to package them up for sale and reuse in AWS Marketplace.

Wow. An app store for FPGA IPs and the infrastructure to enable anyone to use it. That's really cool.

Sanddancer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that no one has linked to http://opencores.org/ opencores yet. They've got a ton of vhdl code under various open licenses. The project's been around since forever and is probably a good place to start if you're curious about fpga programming.
ktta 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If anyone is wondering how the FPGA board looks like


huntero 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Given that the Amazon cloud is such a huge consumer of Intel's X86 processors, even using Amazon-tailored Xeon's, it's surprising that Amazon chose Xilinx over the Intel-owned Altera.

These Xilinx 16nm Virtex FPGA's are beasts, but Altera has some compelling choices as well. Perhaps some of the hardened IP in the Xilinx tipped the scales, such as the H.265 encode/decode, 100G EMAC, PCI-E Gen 4?

irq-1 11 hours ago 0 replies      
OVH is testing Altera chips - ALTERA Arria 10 GX 1150 FPGA Chip


brendangregg 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Very interesting. I'd still like to see the JVM pick up the FPGA as a possible compile target, that way people could run apps that seamlessly used the FPGA where appropriate. I have mentioned this to Intel, who are promoting this technology (and also have a team that contributes to the JVM), but so far no one is stating publicly that they are working on such a thing.
prashnts 11 hours ago 2 replies      
For my institute this is going to be _really_ useful for Genomics data processing because we can't justify buying expensive hardware for undergrad research. Using a FPGA hardware over cloud sounds almost magical!
krupan 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The traditional EDA tool companies (Mentory, Cadence, Synopsys) all tried offering their tools under a could/SaaS model a few years back and nobody went for it. Chip designers are too paranoid about their source code leaking. I wonder if that attitude will hamper adoption of this model as well?
technological 11 hours ago 6 replies      
Quick Question: If anyone wants to learn programming an FPGA is learning C only way to go ? how hard is to learn and program in verilog/VHDL without electrical background ?

If anyone suggests links or books, please do

Thank You

lisper 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Newbie question: What do verilog and VHDL compile down to, i.e. what is the assembly/machine language for FPGAs?
majke 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Bitcoin mining. WPA2 brute forcing.

Maybe someone will finally find the triple-des password used at adobe for password hashing.

The possibilities are endless :)

jsh3d 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is amazing! We have been developing a tool called Rigel at Stanford (http://rigel-fpga.org) to make it much easier to develop image processing pipelines for FPGA. We have seem some really significant speedups vs CPUs/GPUs [1].

[1] http://www.graphics.stanford.edu/papers/rigel/

1024core 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a total FPGA n00b, so here's a dumb question: what can you do with this FPGA that you can't with a GPU?

OK, here's a concrete question: I have a vector of 64 floats. I want to multiply it with a matrix of size 64xN, where N is on the order of 1 billion. How fast can I do this multiplication, and find the top K elements of the resulting N-dimensional array?

adamnemecek 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this mean that ML on FPGA's will be more common? Can someone comment on viability of this? Would there be speedup and if so would it be large enough to warrant rewriting it all in VHDL/Verilog?
jakozaur 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So know anyone can run their High Frequency Trading business on their side :-P.

So much easier than buying hardware. Also deep learning works sometimes similarly. It's easier to play with on AWS with their hourly billing than buying hardware for many use cases.

klagermkii 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Would love to know what that gets priced at per hour, as well as if they plan to have smaller FPGAs available while developing.
anujdeshpande 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a post by Bunnie Huang, from a few months ago saying that Moore's law is dead and we will now have more of such stuff -http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/design/the-death-of-...

Pretty interesting read. Also, kudos to AWS !

krupan 8 hours ago 1 reply      
For complex designs the simulator that comes with the Vivado tools (Mentor's modelsim) is not going to cut it. I wonder if they are working on deals with Mentor (or competitors Cadence and Synopsys) to license their full-featured simulators.

Even better, maybe Amazon (and others getting into this space like Intel and Microsoft) will put their weight behind an open source VHDL/Verilog simulator. A few exist but they are pretty slow and way behind the curve in language support. Heck, maybe they can drive adoption of one of the up-and-coming HDL's like chisel, or create one even better. A guy can dream...

RossBencina 10 hours ago 2 replies      
> Xilinx UltraScale+ VU9P fabricated using a 16 nm process.

> 64 GiB of ECC-protected memory on a 288-bit wide bus (four DDR4 channels).

> Dedicated PCIe x16 interface to the CPU.

Does anyone know whether this is likely to be a plug-in card? and can I buy one to plug in to a local machine for testing?

koolba 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Just wait till this gets combined with Lambda.
_nrvs 11 hours ago 0 replies      
_NOW_ things are getting really interesting!
kylek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not totally up to date on it, but the RISC-V project has a tool (Chisel) that "compiles" to verilog... Interesting times for sure!
mmosta 7 hours ago 0 replies      
FPGA Instances are a game changer in every way.

Let this day be known as the beginning of the end general-compute infrastructure for internet scale services.

the_duke 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd be interested in practical use cases that come to your mind (like someone who commented about genomics data processing for a university).

What could YOU use this for professionally?

(I certainly always wanted to play around with an FPGA for fun...)

brilliantcode 7 hours ago 0 replies      
wow. that's what was going through my mind reading this article but it quickly dawned upon me (and sad) that I probably won't be able to build anything with it as we are not solving problems that require programmable hardware but euphoric nonetheless to see this kind of innovation coming from AWS.
jordz 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Azure will be next I guess. They're already using FPGA based systems to power Bing and their Cognitive Services.
SEJeff 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Are these custom fpgas or an Altera or Xylinx?
kidlj 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Try to comment
Ceriand 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there direct DMA access to/from the network interface bypassing the CPU?
mozumder 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone have a hardware ZLIB implementation that I can drop into my Python toolchains as a direct replacement for ZLIB to compress web-server responses with no latency?

Could also use a fast JPG encoder/decoder as well.

n00b101 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is huge
We turned $140k on Kickstarter into $40k debt and broke even medium.com
749 points by CaliforniaKarl  2 days ago   261 comments top 31
ignostic 2 days ago 2 replies      
I do a lot of marketing, and I smiled seeing what you spent money on. I've been most of those places with bigger budgets and similar results. When I'm working with good companies it usually turns into something more like product management with some relevant search or contextual advertising.

> We fell into a trap. We thought marketing meant we had to come at people sideways to get them to give us money. Turns [sic] out, the games just good and people want to play it.

One small suggestion: you're not doing a great job on the up/cross sale. I went to your site and added the game to the cart. But after reading about the expansion I WANTED the expansion. Make it easier for people to add them on. Every large ecommerce store does this. It's helpful to your users, increases RPS, and (when done right) relevant enough to not be annoying. Make sure to find a non-popup solution that won't get blocked by ad blockers.

I'll be buying the product and an expansion based on the Amazon reviews: good luck making some money!

soreal 2 days ago 41 replies      
Facebook ads: spent $1000, got 20 clicks and 0 sales

Is that for real? Is everyone else's experience with Facebook advertising similar?

lxmorj 2 days ago 1 reply      
I run a bootstrapped e-commerce fulfillment center that doesn't charge for storage. We also ship for GameBoxMonthly.com - might be a good way to move a decent percentage of your existing stock. Happy to intro to the GBM team and/or chat about working together. Hit me up: alex@monthlyboxer.com
JPTeasdale 2 days ago 4 replies      
Hey gang. I'm John Teasdale (author) happy to answer any questions you have about the write-up.
odbol_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Manufacturing in China vs the U.S.: for my company's Kickstarter project, the U.S. was about 5x more expensive. (It's a bit different for electronics).

However, after flying me and my co-founder to China, living there for a month to work out all the kinks in the process, then the incredible cost of shipping and customs taxes (has to rush ship for Christmas of course), I'm thinking the U.S.would have been a better choice (at the small volumes of 1000 per batch we were doing).

Now, if you are making 50,000 or a million of something, then China is definitely the way to go. But for small batches I recommend shopping around U.S. factories... They're pretty desperate for it at this point.

labster 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I could have supported this, but I play board games so as to avoid thinking about current U.S. politics. Diplomacy is set in WWI which is distant enough to provide an escape, and even Arkham Horror is moderately more cheerful than the political news today.
markwaldron 2 days ago 5 replies      
Interested to know how many sales come through from this Hackernews/Medium post.
mmastrac 2 days ago 4 replies      
Destroying thousands of units kind of sucks - would it cost a great deal to have the inventory shipped to some sort of low-cost offline storage for later sale? Or is that just going to eat into margins?

Edit: since the game appears to be kid-friendly and non-partisan, maybe the company should consider a crowdfunding campaign to buy back the extra stock and send them to schools for free.

IshKebab 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's got a 6.8 rating Board Game Geek which is actually pretty good. Anything above 7 is a solidly good game in my experience. Nice article too.
Mz 2 days ago 4 replies      
Kickstarter is a magical fantasy land where people get excited about your stuff in a way that doesnt translate into your small business.

I don't really get Kickstarter. The above sums up a lot of my concerns about it and why I have yet to look into it in a serious way.

uptown 2 days ago 2 replies      
The first thing on your site -essentially the sales pitch - is a quote comparing it to Cards Against Humanity. While I've heard of CAH, I've never played it - so your product game concept is lost on me.
appleiigs 2 days ago 1 reply      
There seems to be many problems you faced that could have been avoided just be asking questions :(. For example, asking "do you have experience shipping to Amazon fulfillment centers?". Or talking to the several folk in industry and the CEO ahead of time.

I also have an issue with the Big Lesson of "order at most two times what you've already sold". The lesson shouldn't be a rule of thumb. The lesson should be to find methods to gauge interest better, not just "2X maximum".

Anyway, thanks for sharing. I obviously thought it was an interesting read and it got my brain thinking.

TheGRS 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the write-up. Marketing seems really hard in many of the entertainment-oriented businesses out there. Weak ties and word of mouth are still the dominate way to sell things effectively, but they remain very hard to strategize around.
muse900 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not specifically direct to this post but something relevant.

We had that discussion with a colleague yesterday while we are thinking of starting a company ourselfs.

The only thing I actually told him that if we start off something I dont want it to focus on investments or anything crazy and I'd like to go very humble with everything. Create a small business with a product and let it grow in a normal pace.

Atm we are both working for 2 entrepreneurs that started a small company and slowly slowly grew it up to a medium company that returns over 50m a year. Its a very stable environment and they don't go into heavy risks when it comes to spending.

I see a lot of people nowadays that are very proficient in tech doing startups. Startups are everywhere. The main thing we see though is that most of them fail at it. I mainly think its because they are not experienced enough on how life works and they think they gonna make the next uber etc. NO! Thats a big NO! People that created uber are like people that win the lottery. They were lucky enough to get investments they way they did etc and kept at it. Thats all about it. For me its not a success story about a company that started small and ended up big. Its just the lucky draw that investors picked up and threw money at.People around tech industry need to realise that. Start a company, have a product, and go slowly with it. Stick with it and yes in 10-20 years time you'll be at some good amount of money. Don't expect it to happen in a year or even 5 years or else you are stressing your company to fail.

I feel like this is the issue with the tech industry entrepreneurs atm. They want to have it all fast, and thats why they fail.

Also you see people celebrating investments... I love the show "silicon valley" because it shows you in reality what this industry is about. When you get an investment you shouldn't be the happiest person in the world, you gonna get people demanding stuff etc which will definitely put you in a difficult position especially if the company and the product is very young as the investors might wanna take a different path and lead you into taking it as well.

relics443 2 days ago 1 reply      
I started reading this article thinking, "nice try guys, not getting anything from me".

I'm about to order one, and sent a link to about 10 friends. Good job!

netrap 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting insight into selling via Amazon.. I didn't know about the long-term storage fees and whatnot. I guess also getting the game into some retail shops might help? How much would it cost to get those games back from Amazon to some other storage?
shortstuffsushi 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't see this mentioned in the article, but I think the author makes the assumption that his Chinese company would have been more reliable / more experienced and would not have made these sorts of mistakes (which could be accurate, don't know the two companies). Imagine the setbacks his company had, except then add the delay of cross ocean (air or ship) shipping. Unless things had gone perfectly with the Chinese company, they may still have gotten a faster turn around having it in the US. He mentions in a comment here that they're thinking about doing a second batch overseas, I'm curious to see the turnaround on that.
lz400 2 days ago 2 replies      
Very interesting and well written post. I own a lot of boardgames and follow the hobby in BGG, YouTube, etc. There are a bunch of famous game reviewers in YT that bring sales if they like a game but to be honest I think they won't like your game as it's yet another clone of Cards Against Humanity, which is loathed among the board game community. That's the same reason I won't buy your game as I've no interest in CAH but I wish you the best of luck.
pretz 1 day ago 0 replies      
> On September 9th, 2015 we received $127,827.01 from Kickstarter. This sounds like a lot of money, until we say that this week, November 22nd 2016, we have finally gotten out of debt. Thats 440 days of work after creating the product and running the Kickstarter before we made $1.

As someone who's spent their professional career working for venture-backed tech companies that hadn't yet made a profit, that sounds damn good. Many many companies never get that far.

acedinlowball 2 days ago 1 reply      
I will be buying a copy of this game to support a fellow HN-er.

Cheers, mate! I hope you become very rich.

Symbiote 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about sending some free copies to board game cafs? Only if they want them, obviously.
bambax 1 day ago 0 replies      
> We wanted space in the box so expansion cards would fit. The printing company recommended a cheap cardboard insert. The empty cardboard insert created a crumple zone that caused hundreds of games to arrive damaged.

It also means you're paying extra for manufacturing, transporting, storing and then shipping... empty space.

The size of the box seems huge if the game is just a deck of cards (which it seems to be from the demo video? There doesn't seem to be a board or anything like that?)

Is there a way to instead offer different versions of the game, that are simply different sets of cards, that can be played independently (and therefore do not need to be stored together by the end users).

paulcole 2 days ago 3 replies      
>Tried: Amazon Sponsored ProductsResult: Actually works. We spend about $2.70 on ads per sale of the base game.

You're throwing money away. I searched "presidential debate game" on Amazon and you're the #1 (non-paid) result. Why are you paying for clicks on a search for which you're the only relevant result?

tudorw 2 days ago 0 replies      
thanks for sharing the level of detail on sales efforts, interesting read
walshemj 2 days ago 0 replies      
One tip would be get it in front of the guys at the d6 generation and some of the other mini/ board game podcasters.

If you get over to games expo in the UK I will have to buy you a beer

iampherocity 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've listened to Justin all the way through this from the start on the other side, it's interesting seeing this from your perspective. Thanks for sharing.
ninjakeyboard 2 days ago 1 reply      
I bet getting that article on the top of HN should help!
guiomie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tried: Facebook Advertisements.Result: Spent ~$1000 on 30 different ads, ~20 clicks, 0 sales.

Is this a typical result with facebook ads?

imchillyb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Purchased! Making board games great again!
Heliosmaster 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't you ship to Europe? :(
ccc111 2 days ago 2 replies      
Learning to Read X86 Assembly Language patshaughnessy.net
584 points by adamnemecek  3 days ago   228 comments top 23
adamnemecek 3 days ago 6 replies      
Also Matt Godbolt's gcc explorer is the the bee's knees for understanding assembly


I think that playing around with it for 2 hours will teach you more than most classes on the topic. It really drives home why interactivity is such a bit deal in education.

You should also try writing a script for counting instructions in binaries. It's pretty illuminating. Here are some sample statistics https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:j0gebK...

userbinator 3 days ago 4 replies      
What a train wreck! Its hard to imagine a more confusing state of affairs.

I'd say that's more attributed to someone many many years ago deciding they would not follow the official Intel syntax (for what reason I do not know), and somehow convincing the rest of the community to follow them. That's actually one of the things that could make for a very interesting article: how one processor family got two different and incompatible Asm syntaxes. The fact that the mnemonics and syntax don't correspond to those found in the manufacturer's datasheets and manuals just increases the barrier to understanding. As far as I know, the same didn't happen to ARM, MIPS, SPARC, and the others. Especially when the sense of the comparisons/conditional jumps is reversed, and some of the more advanced addressing modes look less-than-obvious, it's hard to imagine why anyone would adopt such a syntax:


Note that the GNU tools have option to use Intel syntax too, so you can avoid some of the confusion (in the DOS/Windows and embedded world at least until recently, Intel syntax is overwhelmingly the norm.)

ivanhoe 3 days ago 3 replies      
To understand assembly it really helps to know at least something about how computers work on a low level. When I first tried learning it (long time ago, in a high school) I had no idea how computers really work on such a low level, how CPU's addressing registers and that kind of stuff, and while I managed to learn the syntax, even write some asm code, it was all really confusing to me. And only few years later on University, after I've learned in details about the cpu architecture, registers, buses, DMA, etc, it suddenly all started to make perfect sense and became 100x more clear and easier. So if you're interested in this, it will save you a lot of effort to invest some time first to learn the computer architecture basics, and then from there go to learn the assembly lang. Just my $0.02
tptacek 3 days ago 0 replies      
So, this is fantastic, but I want to make an appeal for the most important thing to understand about any assembly language, even before you work out the individual instructions:

Break your programs into basic blocks! Reverse engineers never read assembly in a straight line. Instead, they read the control flow graphs of subroutines, which is the graph where nodes are runs of instructions ending in jumps and branches, and the edges are the jump targets. I hope this doesn't sound complicated, because it isn't: it's literally just what I wrote in this paragraph. It takes about 15 minutes for most platforms to learn enough to recover CFGs from subroutines by hand.

To get a decent understanding of what a chunk of assembly code is doing, all you really need is:

* The code broken into subroutines (this is usually your starting point) and then CFGs (good disassemblers do this for you, but it's easy to do by hand as a first pass)

* The CALLs (CALLs don't end basic blocks!)

* The platform's calling convention (how are arguments passed and return values returned from subroutines)

There are two tricks to reading large amounts of assembly:

1. Most of the code does not matter, and you won't be much better off for painstakingly grokking it.

2. Virtually all the assembly you'll see is produced by compilers, and compilers spit out assembly in patterns. Like the dude in The Matrix, after an hour or so of reading the CFGs of programs from a particular compiler, you'll stop having to read all the instructions and start seeing the "ifs" and "whiles" and variable assignments.

qwertyuiop924 3 days ago 12 replies      
x86 is the worst ISA. If you want to play with assembler without feeling a desire to stab yourself and end it all, I recommend ARM.

Or go learn Z80, x86's weird, 8-bit cousin (it had a 16-bit version, but it sold poorly), which had a greater emphasis on backwards compatability (you can run code from the original 8080 on a Z80, unchanged), and is nicer to work with (because it wasn't extended in unticipated directions far beyond its original capabilities, while keeping fetishistic backwards compatability by stacking hack on top of hack on top hack. It also didn't have memory segmentation, otherwise known as The Worst Thing.)

There are only two common reasons to learn Z80 assembler, though: to program the Gameboy (which runs on a modified Z80 with all the cool instructions removed), and to program a TI calculator, thus making all highschoolers in your area immensely happy.

TI calculators are a comically overpriced scam, that have only survived because of the College Board, but that's another story.

satysin 3 days ago 0 replies      
A video I like to send friends asking about how to understanding x86 assembly is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOyaJXpAYZQ

I think the video maker does a good job of mapping a simple C program to its disassembly.

Annatar 2 days ago 3 replies      
And, of course, modern compilers will usually produce faster, more optimized code than you ever could, without making any mistakes.

This assertion comes up over and over again in the last 30 years. Every time I've had it asserted to me, it always came from non-assembler programmers, who always wrote in a high level language. I have yet to see evidence of optimizing compilers generating code even remotely close in efficiency to what we would code directly in assembler.

A coder would never write all those extra frame pointer setup code, nor would they waste encoding and tact cycles shuffling values from one register to another. For example, a human might write the code from the article thus:

 Add42: addb $42, %al ret
and that's it. No frame pointer or stack setup, that's all unnecessary overhead because compiler algorithms can't reliably make such contextual decisions.

Grom_PE 3 days ago 2 replies      
As AT&T syntax is still being used, at this point I'm willing to believe it's to purposely make x86 assembly hard and unpleasant to read and write.Perhaps so people will want to stay away from it, and in a way, to reduce the amount of code that is tied to the x86 platform.It spreads the thinking x86 assembly is terrible and ugly.

Intel syntax is much cleaner, in particular, Intel Ideal (as opposed to MASM), and specifically, FASM (flat assembler).FASM makes it as clean as possible and turns writing assembly into a joy.


 movl %fs:-10(%ebp), %eax ; AT&T mov eax, dword ptr fs:[ebp-10] ; MASM mov eax, [fs:ebp-10] ; FASM

gnuvince 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice article! It take a subject that is scary for many and does a great explaining a little bit very clearly using good visual aids. I look forward to the next articles!
Gruselbauer 3 days ago 0 replies      
> It turns out x86 assembly is much simpler than Hungarian

Well, what isn't? I have a knack for languages but that beautiful beast seems like an almost impenetrable fortress of strangeness.

On the other hand, that encourages me to learn to read basic assembly.

bogomipz 3 days ago 1 reply      
I thought this sentence was curious:

"To write code that runs directly on your microprocessor you need to know how memory segmentation works"

Although you can't completely ignore segments, in practice at least on Linux the only segments in use are user code/data and kernel code/data segments.

Does anyone know why the author might suggest that understanding segmentation is necessary to write Assembly code?

kitsuac 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to learn how to read X86, don't choose this AT&T style syntax as it's a monstrosity.
Jugurtha 3 days ago 0 replies      
kruhft 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reading assembly language is about having the computer in your head, just like regular programming. You read and execute the instructions just like any other language, just the operations are that much smaller and less abstract. Each instruction is a 'function call'; just like any low level language you leverage abstraction to build up these operations into greater pieces of execution knowledge using macros and functions in logical ways to get the outcome.

It's not magic. The best way to learn assembly is to program in it. I learned on the Gameboy by getting a job and programming 2 games in it. Fun as hell, especially when the machine is small enough to really fit in your head and clock cycles count at 4Mhz.

matchagaucho 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I worked at Intel in the Server BIOS group, the development process involved several iterations of developing macro abstractions until the x86 ASM code became more readable and maintainable.

No one particularly enjoyed working in raw ASM 100% of the time.

RandomInteger4 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is the first time I actually read all the way through an article on assembly. It was nice and concise. Granted, I'll probably forget this until the next article (due to focusing on other studies), but thank you none the less.
dman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Btw if someone has a local copy of intels intrinsics tool before they converted it into a web version - could you please share it?
ndesaulniers 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice illustrations. It was a good idea to get the prologue/epilogue out of the way. Note that for optimized code, it's usually unnecessary. For more info: https://nickdesaulniers.github.io/blog/2014/04/18/lets-write...
JoeAltmaier 3 days ago 3 replies      
The examples seem odd to me: the argument order is reversed from every Intel disassembly (or assembler) I've ever used. Addi edi, 43 is the normal way to say "Add 43 to edi". The destination register is normally first; the source register 2nd in the disassembly, right?
RX14 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're experimenting with asm in crystal, you might want to use --prelude=empty to remove the standard library to make the asm output cleaner. You can then then require lib_c and use that directly.
pselbert 3 days ago 1 reply      
Excellent article that has context around the how and why, which I appreciated. Pat has a great "explorer" writing style.

I was going to post this last night but figured it must have been posted already. I was wrong! Nice to see it ok the front page.

Vera527 3 days ago 0 replies      
What a great read. Thanks for sharing op.
iamahacker2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent article.
Writing C software without the standard library ddns.net
483 points by andreaorru  1 day ago   180 comments top 29
userbinator 1 day ago 4 replies      
A value in the range between -4095 and -1 indicates an error, it is -errno.

The syscall/errno stuff has always seemed unusual, inelegant, and inefficient --- instead of just returning a negative error code directly, the function returns the vague "an error has occurred" -1, and you have to then check errno separately after that. It only adds insult to injury when you realise that the kernel itself isn't doing it, but the syscall wrappers. And thanks to POSIX standardising this mechanism, the alternative will likely never get much adoption; of course, if you write your own syscall wrappers like this article, then you can skip that bloat.

For now this guide is linux-only, but I will be writing a windows version when I feel like firing up a virtual machine.

Unfortunately the Windows syscalls are not officially documented and even less stable than on Linux, changing even between service packs.



At least on Linux the first few (i.e. the oldest, most common and useful) syscalls have not really moved around over the years:


leeter 1 day ago 3 replies      
A few thoughts:

* The space savings are moot as other processes such as the daemons are going to load libc into virtual memory anyway, and the kernel shares libc's page among all processes.

* This adds a lot of LOC you have to maintain, instead of shoving it off on the compiler/libc vendor, this increases the chance of bugs.

* This will prevent the use of VDSOs to optimize high volume system calls like gettimeofday.

* It's still probably good to know how these happen, even if you're not doing them yourself.

* The only place this would really see benefit is in a single process environment, however in those cases I would suggest a unikernel anyway for simplicity sake.

vxNsr 1 day ago 8 replies      
He claims that your code will be easy to port but then goes straight to Linux system calls.

Still I like the idea. This is something that should be covered in a CS 102 type course. I know way to many cs guys who have no idea how to debug, let alone how their is being implemented.

dvfjsdhgfv 1 day ago 4 replies      
The guy is definitely a fan of old-school minimalism:http://weeb.ddns.net/0/articles/modern_software_is_at_its_wo...I have to say I miss the old days of Gopher, too. It was so much easier to focus on the content back then.
beeforpork 1 day ago 1 reply      
If the asm was written a little more cleverly, the syscalls would avoid almost all moves, because the compiler'd put everything in place:

 _syscall5: mov %r9, %r10 _syscall3: mov %rcx, %rax syscall ret
And then:

 extern unsigned long _syscall3( unsigned long, unsigned long, unsigned long, unsigned long); extern unsigned long _syscall5( unsigned long, unsigned long, unsigned long, unsigned long, unsigned long, unsigned long); #define syscall0(NUM) _syscall3(0,0,0,NUM) #define syscall1(NUM,A) _syscall3(A,0,0,NUM) #define syscall2(NUM,A,B) _syscall3(A,B,0,NUM) #define syscall3(NUM,A,B,C) _syscall3(A,B,C,NUM) #define syscall4(NUM,A,B,C,D) _syscall5(A,B,C,NUM,0,D) #define syscall5(NUM,A,B,C,D,E) _syscall5(A,B,C,NUM,E,D)

nwmcsween 1 day ago 2 replies      
The comment section where gcc puts in ident info can be omitted with -fno-ident and syscall(2) is usually a very thin wrapper[0]. If you follow the musl syscall(2) it simply maps errors to errno[1] and uses the fancy count-args-in-macro[2] to call off the respective $arch/syscall_arch.h[3] syscall$n numbered functions.

[0] https://git.musl-libc.org/cgit/musl/tree/src/misc/syscall.c

[1] https://git.musl-libc.org/cgit/musl/tree/src/internal/syscal...

[2] https://git.musl-libc.org/cgit/musl/tree/src/internal/syscal...

[3] https://git.musl-libc.org/cgit/musl/tree/arch/x86_64/syscall...

oso2k 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little self promotion but mostly because it addresses some of the other commenters concerns about malloc (or the lower-level api around sbrk): a couple years ago I wrote rt0 [0], a small (mostly minimal) C runtime for i386 & amd64 that makes it easier to replace libc & crt0 (as long as you have the kernel headers installed). Also, as part of the examples, I wrote wrappers around the sbrk syscall. Pretty easy to do and all documented in the repo. I expect to eventually port the lib to arm (raspberry pi) and aarm64. There's also lots of references to other small c runtimes. I'll be adding this one as well.

[0] https://github.com/lpsantil/rt0

nathan_f77 1 day ago 0 replies      
> When we learn C, we are taught that main is the first function called in a C program. In reality, main is simply a convention of the standard library.

Well, I've already learned something new. I assumed that convention was from the compiler. This is a great resource.

pawadu 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think this is unnecessary when you got <stdint.h>:

 typedef unsigned long int u64; typedef unsigned int u32; ...
if you define your own types like this you may need to revise them when you switch architecture or even compiler.

Now you could argue that this is part of the standard library, but I actually see it as a part of the standard C language.

gibsjose 1 day ago 1 reply      
While this seems mainly useful as an academic exercise, the `printf "#include <unistd.h>" | gcc -E - | grep size_t` bit to easily grep in header files was worth the read.
rikkus 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's interesting to read the sources[1] of lots of djb's[2] code, as he often works around problems with (or perhaps dislikes the style of) standard libraries by re-implementing parts.

[1] https://github.com/abh/djbdns/blob/master/str_len.c[2] http://cr.yp.to/djb.html

capnfantasic 1 day ago 4 replies      
Fantastic until you need to malloc. You're reimplementing libc, but at least you know what's going on at every level.
coreyp_1 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's posts like this (and the accompanying comments) that make me realize how much I still have left to learn!

One of the reasons that I love HN is how informative you all are!

lolisamurai 1 day ago 0 replies      
The server is getting hit pretty hard right now, did not expect this much traffic. In the meantime, you can find a bbcode mirror of the guide here: https://ccplz.net/threads/writing-c-software-without-the-sta...
kriro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some of the reasons that he mentions for avoiding the standard library could also be mitigated by using another library like dietlibc (I played around with it back in the day, last release seems to be from 2013): https://www.fefe.de/dietlibc/
nitwit005 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've tried this myself. What you'll run into is that you tend to need a few things that are non-trivial:

An implementation of malloc/free

Functions to parse and print floats (somewhat system dependent)

Assembly implementations of any trigonometric functions used

While there is code that goes to that effort (The Go runtime comes to mind), it's quite a pain for "normal" code.

flukus 1 day ago 7 replies      
> Executables are incredibly small (the http mirror server for my gopherspace is powered by a 10kb executable).

Is this ever an real issue, even on any embedded system in the last 20 years?

sytelus 1 day ago 0 replies      
It would be wrap this up in lightweight libc. There is uSTL for C++: https://msharov.github.io/ustl
jxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a very good learning process. But once your project scales up, you are essentially writing your own libc.

And there is no portability. It only works with the specific architecture's calling convention and the specific c compiler.

clifanatic 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting - my McAfee web washer blocked this site. Don't know why.
dispose13432 1 day ago 2 replies      
> xor rbp,rbp /* xoring a value with itself = 0 */

Is this faster than a (const) mov ?

partycoder 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is required if you do systems programming (e.g: kernel development).
thewavelength 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is necessary to do this with C++? Is there a tutorial available on the web?
bogomipz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I had a question about this sentence:

"It's often necessary to either push useless data or simply align the stack pointer whenthe pushed values don't happen to be aligned."

That's kind of hand-wavy. How do we "simply align the stack pointer"?

DaiPlusPlus 1 day ago 3 replies      
Your first paragraph makes me wish this site supported Markdown.
SFJulie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Myth busted : printf("Hello world") is simple and is a relevant C program for a beginning.

The "hello world" example is just the first step to annihilate your capacity of understanding how thinks works by relying on institutional black magic, that maybe wrong

(see all the scanf bugs that have been living in C code for so long and all bugs coming from respecting the old's man wisdom)

taocipian 1 day ago 0 replies      
the C standard library is not perfect but good enough
00k 1 day ago 0 replies      
An essential function of stardard library is to wrapper the syscalls. Besides that, you can make a live without the library. But why would you do that?
eliangidoni 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't believe this post has 409 points. Are we in the 80's again ?
Oh right, about those LEDs xiphmont.livejournal.com
378 points by BuuQu9hu  20 hours ago   168 comments top 12
yuubi 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> "What do you mean? You can have any bin mentioned on the spec sheet."

Reminds me of the ancient story of the electronics manufacturer that sourced some resistors or whatever from Japan for the first time. The spec called for max 1% bad parts or whatever. When the parts arrived, the box contained a packet with a note that said something like "Thanks for your order. We are unsure why you want 1% defective parts, but for your convenience, we have packaged them separately."

kosma 18 hours ago 3 replies      
This is exactly my experience. Cheap Chinese LEDs seem like a bargain until you discover they are not spec'd beyond "they emit light". The steep price you pay for CREE and other brand-name LEDs is for a product that actually lives up to its datasheet.
nickhalfasleep 15 hours ago 6 replies      
The growth in efficiency has been spectacular. Every other source will be retired in the face of LED greater efficiency, solid state design, and lower cost.

The only light more efficient than an LED is an LED that is turned off. Demand-based lighting, network controlled is the next step.

Cree already sells Power-over-Ethernet powered and controlled light fixtures to do this:http://www2.cree.com/smartcast-landing-page

AceJohnny2 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Speaking of LED lighting, I've been meaning to upgrade my living space lighting. The one killer feature I'm looking for is color temperature control: I want to be able to adjust between "soft white" (2700K whitepoint) and "daylight" (5000K) whitepoint.

Basically, what Philips Hue "White Ambiance" [1] bulbs offer. Are there any alternatives?

[1] http://www2.meethue.com/en-us/productdetail/philips-hue-whit...

agumonkey 18 hours ago 0 replies      
For the padders interested in modding CCFL to LEDs, he wrote https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/thinkpad/led-backlight.sht...
sliken 18 hours ago 10 replies      
Have to say the evolution in LEDs has been pretty amazing.

First we had terrible yellow fragile maglites that requires several large C or D cells for anything approaching reasonable brightness and battery life. I had my small maglite die at the bottom of the grand canyon, and the top of MT shasta. After trying to replace a tiny incandescent bulb in the dark in challenging conditions I decided I was switching to LEDs, no matter what the compromise was.

Similar monitors had broad spectrum CFLs that generated UV, converted it to white light with a phosphor then threw away most of the light and filtered it down to approximately R, G, and B. The resulting color accuracy was terrible.

LEDs started out expensive, not very bright, and mostly red. Migrated to different colors, I think blue was the most expensive.

Finally white LEDs started showing up in tiny AA or AAA flashlights with 50-75 lumens. About as bright as the 2xAA maglite that were huge in comparison.

Color coverage got better, life got better, efficiency started ramping up.

100-200 lumen flashlights started to become more common. 18650s that have substantially more power and a more LED friendly 3.7V started to appear.

Year or two later 400-500 lumens were common, efficiency kept increasing. Started to appear as backlights, car dash boards, brake lights, etc.

CFLs switched from wasting 95% of the light to ditching the white phosphors for a mix of RGB phosphors. The savings were twofold and multiplicative. The first was generating UV -> RGB directly with mix of RGB phosphors in the CFL. Then additionally instead of narrow notch filters that didn't pass much light they switched to very wide spectrum filters that passed most of the light. So a red pixel didn't need to be within 1% of red, but instead just block 99% of G and B. Since the RGB phosphors emitted very close to the ideal frequencies the color accuracy increased. Monitor power requirements dropped significantly.... only to be killed off by more efficient LEDs.

Things doubled again, small ish flashlights much like the 2xAA maglites except fatter. 1000 lumens hitting $50-$100 points points. Now throwing a usable light 300 Meters isn't unusual from a small hand held light. Depending on your use recharging once a month isn't unusual. 4-or 5 light levels are common, and runtimes of 1.5 hours (max light) to 100 or more hours (on low) aren't uncommon.

So now macbook pros that are extremely thin (greatly helped by very tiny LEDs for backlights) get 10 hours of battery light with 500 nit screens with wonderful color accuracy. Similarly even 55" LED screens are crazy high resolution and crazy cheap. The cost per pixel doesn't seem on that crazy different than the cost per transistor.

Sadly like Moore's law, LEDs aren't getting much better anymore. For the first time I purchased a new flashlight after 2-3 years... and the best I could find was zero % brighter 8-(.

It's not just computers that have been improving like crazy.

k__ 16 hours ago 4 replies      
LEDs are an adventure.

5 Years ago I replaced all my light bulbs with LEDs, but it was not easy.

First I had to find a brand that didn't sell this clinically white light emitting crap and then I had to buy 3 times as much as I needed and send 2/3 back because not all emitted the same color.

sdfjkl 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Those daylight backlight upgrade kits are nice. We boat nerds always lust after stuff like that, because we like to take computers out in the sun (and rain and airborne saltwater) and this is one of the key parts for doing that.
GregBuchholz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Speaking of LEDs, I've been on and off looking for 0402 or 0603 pink LEDs. There seem to have been multiple manufacturers building them years ago, but it seems like they've been discontinued/obsolete. Now I can't seem to find them at the larger distributors (Digikey/Mouser/ etc.). And I'm leery of buying them off of Ali-express/ebay, because I wouldn't want to have to test them each before using them, and for this particular project it wouldn't be worth it to rework if we had to replace non-functioning LEDs. Anyone know more about the trials and tribulations of pink LED manufacture?
vxNsr 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain what it is he was trying to do, as in, why did he want such a small batch of LEDs for?
samstave 12 hours ago 1 reply      
How much was a strip 5000 LEDs?
honkhonkpants 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I put his conversion kit in my X61t and it is whoa-Nelly bright and the colors are spectacular. I recall that it also costs a fifth what a genuine ThinkPad CCFL backlight module costs.
Diamond-age of power generation as nuclear batteries developed bristol.ac.uk
363 points by triplesec  2 days ago   179 comments top 31
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 6 replies      
It would be more credible if the Cabot Institute linked the paper on their "All Research Papers" page (http://research-information.bristol.ac.uk/en/organisations/c...) or if they described how they are getting electricity out of beta decay (is it simple a thermo-electric generator? How much heat differential can they push? Or is it just bodging together chunks of radioactive material in a casement that has reasonable head conductivity and absorbs 99% of radiation.

My favorite "invention" of that form is the water heater "booster" ball. Basically you take a kilogram of spent fuel rod, encase it in a austenitic stainless steel ball, and suspend that bad boy in the center of your water heater holding tank. Hot water for the next 500 years without using gas or electricity :-).

hashin 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can see that they are emphasizing on the #DiamondBattery hashtag so that general public will be hooked and share it more, but why haven't they given any hints (mildly technical) to the capabilities of the battery?

// A team of physicists and chemists from the University of Bristol have grown a man-made diamond that, when placed in a radioactive field, is able to generate a small electrical current.//

When I read the "small electrical current", the physicist in me was naturally assuming a very small current of the order of pico to nano amperes (without being conservative) - essentially useless. Metrics like the half life of the battery doesn't make any sense at all if the power or current rating is not specified. Current rating is something you could trust, that it will end up as a viable product.

This would appeal more if they can give a direct link to their research paper.

roel_v 2 days ago 2 replies      
This will sound like neckbeard cynicism, but I actually mean this and in a positive way:

"There are so many possible uses that were asking the public to come up with suggestions of how they would utilise this technology by using #diamondbattery.

It's cool how they're engaging the public in their research in this way. Of course it's a transparent ploy to get social media mentions, but scientists of all sorts (and I kind of am one myself) would do themselves a favor by doing more to get the general public to know about their/our work. This particular thing 'feels' sort of slimy (to me at least, but I suspect to others on this site as well), but I think that's a bad reflex on my part, and that easy, low-friction things like giving people an opening to send a quick tweet or FB post reaches a different audience than having a stand at the 'open science fair' or having a lecture open to the general public; those tend to self-select in the audience they attract, to put it mildly.

legulere 1 day ago 2 replies      
> In fact, diamond is the hardest substance known to man, there is literally nothing we could use that could offer more protection.

With such nonsense it is hard to believe the rest of the article. Heat a diamond and it will burn releasing CO2 into the air, smash it with a hammer and it will burst in million parts.Small particles and gasses are very easy to ingest.

zellyn 2 days ago 3 replies      
Sounds cool. One annoying bit of breathless (and brainless) enthusiasm stuck out though: "In fact, diamond is the hardest substance known to man, there is literally nothing we could use that could offer more protection."

While diamonds are extremely hard, they are brittle, and shatter relatively easily.

wolfgang42 2 days ago 3 replies      
From #diamondbattery tweets: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23diamondbattery

Could be used in underground seismic monitors https://twitter.com/Keminoes/status/803297734694465541

Car keys that require batteries. If we don't have a spare battery with us and our keys die, we're stranded. MP3 players, too https://twitter.com/tysongeisler/status/803438384052129796

To power a low-power-mode Arduino for gas detection (CO, CO2, Low O2, etc), fire detection, radiation detection, etc. https://twitter.com/noalear/status/803389146433626112

Could diamond batteries be used to power medical nanobots? https://twitter.com/weirbe/status/803418222972125184

Power clothes that contain sensors, as well as clothes that electrically regulate the temperature. https://twitter.com/CIMCloudOne/status/803440800759574528

how about in cell phones to give a little charge to the battery while the phone is not in use. https://twitter.com/W_Haas/status/803352403512872961

Is there the potential to power watches as a fair amount of waste is generated from depleted watch batteries each year. https://twitter.com/Merrett72/status/803297788163289088

sandworm101 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is no diamond-age. These devices are all well and good, but think of the scales involved. To generate enough power to do something like power a home, let alone a vehicle, we are going to need kilos of this stuff. Kilos of diamond. It's also going to get rather hot. That is the point.

Using numbers from patch_collector:1 x 50watt lightbulb / 0.0013 Watts/gram = 38Kg = 83lbs of diamond per bulb.

Diamonds are far from indestructible. They shatter. More importantly, they burn. We don't see it very often but put enough of them together, add heat and electricity, and you better hope there isn't any oxygen nearby. Imagine a couple pounds of these things, on fire, pumping out radioactive carbon dioxide. At least when uranium burns it produces something heavy that can be filtered. Filtering radioactive CO2 would be a nightmare. These things will never find there way into any consumer product.

marrone12 2 days ago 1 reply      
If civilization ever falls, future generations would think using crystals for energy must have been a fairy tale.
nathan_f77 1 day ago 1 reply      
WOW. I always expected that we would see mobile phones that lasted for days or weeks before needing to be recharged. I never once considered the idea that we may have mobile phones and laptops that NEVER need to be recharged during our lifetime. That is an incredible thought.

I wonder how hard it will be to convince people to put nuclear batteries in their pocket. Many people are still afraid of microwave ovens.

tunesmith 2 days ago 2 replies      
Haha this sounds straight out of Asimov's Foundation novels where a civilization was driven to innovate miniaturized nuclear power.
kodfodrasz 1 day ago 3 replies      
Even if this is true I think this is such a public safety hazard, that the authorities will never allow its public adoption.

Just think in terms of domestic terrorism and dirty bombs. Exploding a few such batteries would release radioactive powder, which is a quite dangerous if inhaled, and cleaning it up is very difficult.

irq 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have details? Like what is the nominal voltage, power density, etc?
kilroy123 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure if this will lead to a new revolutionary battery.

But I'll say this, the man/woman who creates a company that builds a new revolutionary battery that will keep your laptop humming for a week; will be very rich. Probably the next richest person on earth.

outworlder 2 days ago 1 reply      
> A team of physicists and chemists from the University of Bristol have grown a man-made diamond that, when placed in a radioactive field, is able to generate a small electrical current.

So, they are replacing the thermocouples as used in RTGs with this diamond-like stuff? And low radioactivity sources (as opposed to plutonium)? That would indeed be revolutionary if it worked.

JoeAltmaier 2 days ago 1 reply      
Suspicious: sounds like a con, in every breathless undocumented wild claim.
etatoby 1 day ago 1 reply      
> diamond is the hardest substance known to man, there is literally nothing we could use that could offer more protection

Weird, I was under the assumption that density (and other more exoteric chemical properties) shielded from radioactivity, not hardness. /s

jules0 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Given that Bristol researchers did not explain the physics behind their diamond battery we can only speculate but considering some recent developments we can make some good guesses.

It probably functions similar to a betavolatic cell.(See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betavoltaic_device)

In a typical configuration you have a P-N semiconductor junction placed next to beta emitter. The beta particles impact the PN junction and create electron-hole pairs that are pulled apart by the junction to produce a current.

The use of diamond seems like a could be a significant innovation:1) Carbon-14 is an efficient beta emitter and could make op part of all of the diamond material.2) Diamond has a wide band-gap which is necessary for high efficiency conversion to electricity.3) Has strong resistance to radiation damage.

In one configuration the diamond would be layered on top of a silicon P-N junction so it works like a conventional betavoltaic device.(see: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph241/harrison2/)

A recent patent shows that diamond is a very efficient moderator for injecting electrons into the junction.(see https://www.google.com/patents/US9064610)

Considering that diamond is itself a semiconductor we could also do away with the silicon. For example diamond is being considered for highly efficient photovoltaic cells.(see: http://exploration.vanderbilt.edu/news/news_diamond.htm)

It is also being considered for production of next-gen schottky diodes.(see: http://www10.edacafe.com/nbc/articles/view_article.php?artic...)

The diamond could be stacked next to a conducting metal to create a Skottky barrier which is a type of P-N junction. The beta particles would excite the electrons with enough energy to push them over the barrier and create a current.(see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schottky_barrier)

bahjoite 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Obvious applications would be [...] high-altitude drones

This made me wonder about the funding for this research, but then I found that Dr. T Scott is involved with[0]:

> Radiation Mapping Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

> Following the events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the Interface Analysis Centre has been developing an unmanned aerial system capable of mapping radiation in regions inaccessible to humans.

[0]: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/physics/research/iac/casestudies/

Symmetry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Normally with nuclear power you use the heat generated to drive a heat engine of some sort with strict limits on the theoretical efficiency. But many pulse fusion designs look at using the momentum of emitted charged particles directly through their interaction with magnetic fields at far higher efficiency than could be achieved with the energy going through a heat stage. Carbon-14 emits only beta particles which are, of course, all negatively charged. I wonder if they've managed to turn those into a very high voltage, very low current continuous source directly?
emeraldd 1 day ago 1 reply      
(Note this math is a thought experiment ... completely off the cuff and utter non-sense.)

Based on their numbers:

AA is about 700J/g @ 20g gives about 14000J and a 24 hour drain gives us 580J/hour.

DiamondBattery is about 15J/day or ~0.5J/hour

Ignoring voltage issues (among other things), we come to 1.1kg of DiamondBattery being able to supply something that would drain their 20g AA in 24 hours.

The math here is complete off the cuff non-sense, but an extra kg or so here is not unreasonable for some fixed applications ...

downandout 2 days ago 4 replies      
IMO the headline here isn't the minimally powered batteries, it's that this is a potential solution to the (very) secure storage of nuclear waste. In the US, for example, the proposal to store essentially all of our nuclear waste at one site (Yucca Mountain in Nevada) is a truly terrible idea that would create the world's most coveted terrorist target. Encapsulating the waste in small diamond shells that could be distributed among several sites seems like an ideal solution if they can get it to work at scale.
iseanstevens 1 day ago 0 replies      
The part where they list "airplanes" as something it could potentially power was where it became silly... that's gonna be a lot of spent fuel rod mass.
rbanffy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would anyone care to explain how this works? The crystalline structure of the diamond and the directionality of the radiation source doesn't give me a clear idea about where to add terminals to this battery.
jlebrech 1 day ago 1 reply      
in a diamond battery what serves as anode and cathode, how do you connect wires to a diamond?

this diamond making process would be quite hazardous.

I wonder if they should just create a layer of diamonds and and sandwich that between C14 rather than try and rely just or those diamonds to power spacecraft (would save having to develop the non-radioactive diamond layer).

would a standard diamond also do that trick, I don't see why a radioactive diamond would be different if it is in the presence of C14?

brandmeyer 1 day ago 0 replies      
10:1 odds that this is just a use of the photoelectric effect with a clever dielectric. Based on the press-release description, it is probably not a radiothermal generator (like that used in deep space probes).

1) Have an ionizing radiation source.

2) Get a robust dielectric, with metal plates on both sides of it. Call the plate near the radiation source the cathode and the far one the anode.

3) As the ionizing radiation impacts one side of the cell, the released electron travels only a short distance through the cell. Ideally, the first interaction is with a cathode and the far side an anode, imparting a negative potential to it.

4) A potential difference now exists between the far-side anode and the near-side cathode, from which you can draw current.

Strictly speaking, this is a more like a capacitor which is trickle-charged by the radiation field rather than a battery. There is a design tradeoff between thickness of the metal and dielectric layers in that the initial and final ionizing interaction must be of a (cathode/dielectric -> anode) or (cathode -> dielectric/anode) to get any energy out of it. Ideally, the dielectric has an extremely small cross-section for interaction with whatever the ionizing radiation source is, while the metal plates interact very strongly. However, there will always be some losses due to internal ionization of the dielectric itself. I'm not sure how you would build an effective multi-layer structure, either.

Is this preferable to an RTG? Almost certainly not. The vast majority of the radiation energy in an ionizing photoelectric-effect cell is still released as heat. Very little energy can be captured this way, so it is quite inefficient in terms of energy produced relative to the radiation emitted. You can extract some more electric work by pre-charging the cell such that the freed electron is slowed in part by the electric field gradient, but in practice the bulk of the energy is still lost as heat.

Sea story time! The internal electric field within the dielectric will produce some weird mechanical stresses, too. When my ship's reactor plant went through a refueling overhaul one of the things they replaced was the reactor compartment windows. There are a couple of leaded glass windows that allow Mk. 1 eyeball inspection of the reactor compartment during operation. They are quite thick, electrically insulating, and they build up a large internal electric field along with internal stresses. Standard maintenance was to replace them well before the stress could fracture the glass.

So... could the press release be ...excessively breathless? My guess is a qualified "probably". The physics behind the photoelectric effect are well known and understood. Diamond is special in part because it has a fantastically high dielectric breakdown strength. So, you can extract more work out of the ionized electrons by supporting a very high potential gradient between the anode and cathode, which could be seen as a breakthrough for this type of energy conversion device. BUT it also would enable a new generation of high-density ultra-capacitors. The energy density in a capacitor is limited (in part) by the breakdown strength of the dielectric, since the stored energy is a volume integral of the squared electric field strength. Since ultracaps are technologically much easier to commercialize, and much more investor-friendly than anything involving an ionizing radiation source, but that isn't what the press release points to, I think it is likely to be ... exaggerated.

I could also be wrong, and we'll soon have a new generation of ultracaps!

drzaiusapelord 1 day ago 2 replies      
Every few years there's a proposal for a new nuclear battery. This was the last one:


The problem is none of these approaches solve the disposal problem or the dirty bomb problem. You can buy 1,000 of these and build a dangerous device that would require serious clean-up and, obviously, can hurt a lot of people.

So, this will never be in a smartphone or laptop, but perhaps power industrial items that can't be practically charged often like remote robots or sensors. Or applications in space to replace aging, expensive, and heavy RTG's.

codebook 1 day ago 1 reply      
How much is it? same as diamond?
kbradero 2 days ago 0 replies      
mm, I remember from a lecture that 'nuclear waste' is actually a label used by the nuclear industry but non all of them can be disposed, some by products can be used as a base atomic weapons.

So all countries with nuclear power plants have to return/control the 'nuclear waste'.

jaza 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dilithium crystals, anyone?
transfire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Damn. I was hopeful if used gamma radiation. That would have been truly revolutionary.
More Than 1M Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan checkpoint.com
399 points by idoco  14 hours ago   146 comments top 12
ohyoutravel 13 hours ago 9 replies      
Malware on your Android device picked up from third party app stores (FDroid? Amazon?) that steals email accounts and auth tokens. Looks like it only works on the older Android 4 Jellybean software (and some Android 5 Lollipop) and below, so mostly concentrated in Asia where there are lower-end phones.

You can see if your account has been affected here:


pierrec 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Just to be clear, they didn't obtain any passwords, but auth tokens. This would potentially allow them to log into accounts, but only as long as the tokens are valid.

Also, they don't reveal which "third party app stores" served infected apps, but they do provide a list of infected apps, and searching for these yields some real shady download sites: http://imgur.com/a/0luW3

devy 12 hours ago 1 reply      
We were just reading "Android security in 2016 is a mess"[1] 2 days ago and now we have another great example for it.


n1tro 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to work in an ad-tech company focused on mobile cpi offers that for several months paid the salaries of everyone involved by injecting malware in cracked apps on several third party app stores (they were making a profit out of it enough to dedicate a team only for this).

They even managed to automate all the process of "selling" cracked apps on third party stores. It is amazing how easy it is to trick broke 13yr old kids into installing stuff on their phones.

I left shortly after i found out about this.

m00dy 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Checking your email address in such sites looks like a great way to collect email addresses
mapleoin 13 hours ago 10 replies      
Does anyone else use a special account for their Android phone that they don't use for anything else?
lucb1e 12 hours ago 2 replies      
So wait this is phishing, not actually hacking into Google to breach accounts if I understood it correctly?

In that case, I suppose the title might be technically correct (those accounts are indeed breached), but it makes it sound like Google is to blame.

jrochkind1 12 hours ago 5 replies      
> While Google implemented multiple mechanisms, like two-factor-authentication, to prevent hackers from compromising Google accounts, a stolen authorization token bypasses this mechanism and allows hackers the desired access as the user is perceived as already logged in.

What's the right fix here? Should auth tokens be ip-address-tied? How much will that break? Or would that not even fix it?

neotek 4 hours ago 1 reply      
And still people complain that Apple refuses to allow third-party app stores.
X86BSD 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The difference between iOS and android could not be more clear in this regard. It's interesting to see the difference in security between the two. It's night and day. Google has some serious problems to address. But it seems like they don't care. Their track record is deplorable regarding android security. Is this really the best google can do?
jalajc 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there a way to know if my email is on list of breached?
Svelte A UI framework that compiles into tiny standalone JavaScript modules svelte.technology
491 points by bpierre  17 hours ago   211 comments top 44
skrebbel 16 hours ago 7 replies      
Love it. I think the most discussion-worthy quote I found in the docs is this:

> It's currently fashionable to avoid two-way binding on the grounds that it creates all sorts of hard-to-debug problems and slows your application down, and that a one-way top-down data flow is 'easier to reason about'. This is in fact high grade nonsense. It's true that two-way binding done badly has all sorts of issues, and that very large apps benefit from the discipline of a not permitting deeply nested components to muck about with state that might affect distant parts of the app. But when used correctly, two-way binding simplifies things greatly.

I wonder what the author considers "used correctly" and "done badly" and how Svelte approaches this.

mambodog 12 hours ago 5 replies      
TodoMVC is a useless benchmark for the problem that this claims to be addressing. The limits we're hitting with our applications now are with BIG applications, with many routes, many views, and lots of client side logic. We're talking hundreds of files (in some cases, thousands). Of course a framework, with it's fixed overhead, is going have a bigger payload for a tiny demo app like TodoMVC, than something like this which compiles to some amount of overhead which grows seemingly linearly with application size.

That said, I'm not criticizing the framework here, and I welcome new ideas, but a better choice of benchmark is sorely needed to be persuasive here.

blauditore 14 hours ago 3 replies      
> You can't write serious applications in vanilla JavaScript without hitting a complexity wall.

This somewhat annoys me. You can definitely do it.

Sure, it's easier, more comfortable, safer and quicker to use something like React. But you can still do some modularization that scales reasonably well without it.

I've been working on an app and spent a lot of time looking into frameworks to handle its complexity but ended up sticking to vanilla JS to keep more control, especially for detail optimizations.

dotancohen 17 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks nice: a Javascript framework for expressing _concepts_ that compiles down to vanilla JS. It looks like it ships a lot less code to the user. From the project's first [blog post](https://svelte.technology/blog/frameworks-without-the-framew...):

> The Svelte implementation of TodoMVC weighs 3.6kb zipped. For comparison, React plus ReactDOM without any app code weighs about 45kb zipped. It takes about 10x as long for the browser just to evaluate React as it does for Svelte to be up and running with an interactive TodoMVC.

crudbug 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Love the ideas.

I think now the community has settled on the Component based development, especially with JSX templates.

What we need are multiple react-kernels implementations. I see React community providing component API specs. Similar to Linux distros, we should have API compatible implementations, where application code can run on multiple kernels without any changes. We are now seeing multiple react-shim layer implementation - Preact [0], Inferno [1].

[0] https://preactjs.com

[1] https://github.com/trueadm/inferno

fzaninotto 13 hours ago 3 replies      
The precompilation is a nice idea, but I'm not buying the "vanilla JS" argument. The reason why React and other frameworks have a runtime is also because they optimize rendering.

The Svelte doc says: every call to `component.set()` produces a synchronous DOM update. I can already see how this leads to very poor rendering performance in applications with a large number of nested components.

React and the Virtual DOM solved this problem, and that's why web apps today use a lot of components. So until Svelte can demonstrate fitness and speed comparable to React on large apps, it just looks like Yet Another JS Framework.

nkkollaw 15 hours ago 3 replies      
I love the ideas.

The only other thing I like is CSS scoping, though. I think that CSS scoping is a problem in React, and current ideas on how to implement that in React are absolutely horrible IMHO.

Two-way binding is a step back I think, I don't love the name (lots of people will judge a new technology by its name), and the thought of introducing yet another framework is a nightmare.

I'd personally go with Polymer if you like scoped CSS, since it's already established and it's a good project.

I wonder if these ideas can be somehow applied to React, doing precompiling on React components, so that one can continue taking advantage of all freely available React components out there, and keep using Redux.

throwaway13337 16 hours ago 2 replies      

For how it actually looks.

Interestingly, it shares most similarities to vue. I guess vue is winning mindshare.

bryanlarsen 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Precompilation is cool, but please don't imply that your framework is the first to do it. Precompiled templates significantly predate HTML, they were common in the mainframe world. In the HTML world there are tons of other templaters that allow precompilation. Handlebars is a common one: http://handlebarsjs.com/precompilation.html

This is a huge part of Javascript fatigue for me. I love the fact that we're recycling old concepts and mashing them up to get constant improvements and better tooling. It's the relentless hype and pretending that everything is new that really gets to me.

amelius 15 hours ago 2 replies      
> It's basically as fast as vanilla JS, which makes sense because it is vanilla JS just vanilla JS that you didn't have to write.

What kind of logic are they using here? Isn't any javascript just vanilla JS?

hbbio 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Why didn't we think of this sooner?

Because we did!For instance, this is exactly the approach that we have released back in 2009 with http://opalang.org

Naturally, there are things we would implement differently today, but the OCaml codebase of the compiler is still, in my humble and biased opinion, pretty valid.

eob 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks neat, but also like a non-standard implementation of Web Components, which, though slow coming, already have universal browser support with a small shim.

What's the advantage of this over something like Google's Polymer library, which is a toolkit for rapidly creating reactive web components?

ChemicalScum 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I like how they solved scoped css. Looks way more elegant than most css-in-js solutions I've seen. I could give it a shot for this reason alone.
catshirt 16 hours ago 0 replies      
React fanboy chiming in to say... an interesting approach to what is probably a problem.

i wonder, though, if compilation is really better than creating a library? if we look at the REPL output [0], we can see what comprises the bones of a Svelte component, and how much generated code will be replicated.

it also shows that the more interesting part here is it's method for rendering. it's use of data binding and compilation means we don't really need something like VDOM to stay efficient (at least, not a VDOM running in the browser).

[0] https://svelte.technology/repl/?gist=0ed5146aa22c28410dfcff2...

SEJeff 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty neat demo of Svelte for the home assistant project:


And the actual code:


tycho01 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This compiler sounds similar to me as the Ahead-of-Time (AoT) compiler currently shipped in Angular 2.
spraak 16 hours ago 4 replies      
The 'Mustaches' bit killed it for me, but up until then I was enjoying the simplicity of the API. I like React (and React-like implementations) because of being able to use JS to build up a view
mwcampbell 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I like the idea of abstractions that exist only in the source code and at compile time, and have zero runtime footprint.

How does this compare to Google's Closure compiler and library? Does Svelte's compiler do anything that the Closure compiler cannot? Or how about running the source through a hygienic macro system like sweet.js and feeding the output of that to the Closure compiler?

I ask because I'm skeptical of a new, unproven compiler. Google has been using the Closure compiler on production code for years, and its optimizations are pretty awesome.

goliatone 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks interesting. For the past 3 years I've been using ractivejs and really enjoy it.

I'm wondering if Svelte will take away development efforts from ractivejs?

OT >The web's obesity crisis, solved. Svelte turns your templates into tiny, framework-less vanilla JavaScript.

Made me think of [idlewords][1] website obesity presentation...


pwr 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Isn't the problem of including only the code the component actually needs already solved with dead code elimination? So the framework authors can include new features but as long as your component doesn't use them the code for those feature does not end up in the final bundle you serve to the user.

I sure am missing something here because the author of Svelte is actually also the author of rollup.js [1] which does exactly that, it eliminates dead code via its tree-shaking mechanism.

[1]: http://rollupjs.org

ergo14 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Why would I use this vs established and polished project like Polymer that already has a big ecosystem of components for reuse?
uvesten 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to filter out all JS/Framework stuff from the hn feed?

Asking for a friend.

psion 14 hours ago 6 replies      
Why are there complex MVC frameworks that run in the browser in the first place? I might get some flack for this, and I'm prepared for it, but why can't we use JS as just a view manipulator? Leave data processing and business logic to the back-end, on the server, and that can take care of needing a front-end framework and large app.
brilliantcode 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So I've just wrapped up using React + Redux and just begun to uneasily accept JSX.

It makes me uneasy because React wraps up existing HTML with Javascript. Because it violates using existing, established standards that have truly stood the test of time and wasn't broken at all.

Svelte really hits that sweet spot.

the_jp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
So apparently Svelte JS framework already exists. So many frameworks, you need to start asking which one.. :)


wiradikusuma 15 hours ago 1 reply      
So this is like GWT, minus Java? GWT's treeshaker removes dead code and outputs fat-free plain JS.
the_duke 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Vue.js has single file components [1] and template precompilation [2] (or optionally JSX support, which is basically a precompiled template).

I don't see the point of yet another framework here.

The "no dependencies" argument seems to fall down for me, since it would seem to me that they would need to duplicate a lot of code for state management and rendering, bloating the code for anything more complex.

And if there's some clever tree shaking or whatever going on, than I don't see the point as opposed to just including another JS file...

I couldn't find any explanation of what's so different here, worthy of creating another framework for it. Would love to be enlightened!

[1] https://vuejs.org/v2/guide/single-file-components.html

[2] https://www.npmjs.com/package/vue-template-compiler

adakbar 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Out of topic, is low contrast and small fonts become a thing? I can barely read anything from my 13-inch notebook with 45cm distance between my eyes.
laurent123456 15 hours ago 1 reply      
That seems quite amazing, especially the todo example being over 10 times smaller than the React one. Are there any drawbacks to this approach?
jlebrech 16 hours ago 0 replies      
i wonder if it would be faster if it compiled all the html down into a kitchen sink file.

does it try and do as much as it can without javascript?

kimshibal 12 hours ago 2 replies      
We move React to Svelte at work. We saw a huge file size decrease. almost 50%.
dodyg 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Rich Harris created RactiveJs, which is an awesome UI framework on its own right.
constantlm 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks like a very stripped down Ember.js - it also looks pretty awesome.
devdoomari 13 hours ago 0 replies      
how about porting this to scalaJS?would be awesome to use scala's typechecking on this (especially on template strings)
danesparza 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Where is this being used right now in production?
ng12 13 hours ago 2 replies      
How is this substantially different from Backbone/Marionette? I feel like we're regressing.
max_ 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Mores like Sass for JS. exactly what we need!
Retr0spectrum 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Are there any apps currently made with this?
minxomat 17 hours ago 2 replies      
A side note about that website. Thin and Extra-Thin fonts have no place in web design (there are some exceptions in huge title text). They are an unnecessary burden for people with limited eyesight and elderly people[1]. Even for me, on my 1366x768 screen (which is still the single most common resolution for cheap notebooks, dear HiDPI web designers[2]), the bullet text is hardly readable, the copyright line is completely unreadable. This effect is made even worse by choosing inadequate contrasts[3]. One can use subtle colors for increased contrast.[4]

[1] http://www.aiga.org/typography-and-the-aging-eye

[2] http://blog.typekit.com/2013/05/01/hi-dpi-typography/

[3] https://www.nngroup.com/articles/low-contrast/

[4] https://www.viget.com/articles/color-contrast

gchokov 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh.. and another one.
integricho 17 hours ago 0 replies      
nilved 14 hours ago 0 replies      
> You can't write serious applications in vanilla JavaScript without hitting a complexity wall.

closes tab

smnplk 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I can not keep up with all the new X flavored js frameworks, where X is [React, Angular, Vue, Mithril, Redux, Mobx,...]. This is exactly why I chose Clojurescript for my pet stuff and with hopes, that I will be able to use it for making money too. Learning curve can be steep for someone not used to functional way and/or lisp, but at the end you get a very mature, simpler and consistent language with great tooling. Figwheel workflow is just awesome. Well worth the time.
Modern C [pdf] unistra.fr
386 points by brakmic  2 days ago   381 comments top 34
jackhack 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wish I could like this book, but after reviewing the first chapter I can only imagine the confusion of students. I support very much the idea of breaking the book into levels, but it attempts to cover far too much, far too quickly and I don't believe this book would be useful for those who are not already familiar with the language.

I've been writing C since the late 1980s, moved to mostly C++ by the mid 90s, C# in the 2000s, and now I've come back to C. Most recently built some realtime components and drivers, having to drop back to C77. I mention this as I've taught many colleagues along the way and I'm sensitive to the places where beginners tend to get hung up with problems and I've come to anticipate many of the questions along the way. Let me take a moment to illustrate the base of the problems i see:

"Too much, too fast." The best example is right on page 2: a program which demonstrates a complex printf format string, along with arrays and loops. I can't help but sarcastically ask "Are you sure that is how you want to introduce someone to the language?" A beginner's eyes will glaze over.

Seriously, the way to introduce the language is simple examples. Explain the main is the entry point where all programs begin running, and that main returns it's success or failure to the operating system (or other program that called it). 3 lines of code.

Then add a SIMPLE print, if you wish, or a variable declaration. Int. Float. char. again, it MUST be simple.Introduce loops.Then show how to move some functionality out of main into a subroutine/a new method/new function, how to call that function, and return results. Talk about header files, etc.

From there, dive into the rest of the base language... talk up arrays, memory management, heap/stack, pointers, libraries, exceptions, etc.

But this is only my experience, and I'm sure that it is different for others. Kind regards.

colanderman 2 days ago 4 replies      
While I like a lot of what's in here,

 for (size_t i = 9; i <= 9; --i)
is a pretty terrible example to put in the second chapter. I would not let that line pass code review. There is no need or place for cutesy cleverness in C.

EDIT: Ugh, just found this too:

 isset[!!largeA[i]] += 1;
Not only is that confusingly cutesy, but largeA[i] is a double. Please DON'T write or encourage beginners to write! such smug code!

EDIT2: In section 5 is the statement than unsigned integers "can be optimized best." This is flatly untrue on x86 and I suspect many other architectures. Compilers can and do take advantage of undefined signed overflow to optimize signed arithmetic; the same is not possible with unsigned arithmetic. See https://kristerw.blogspot.com/2016/02/how-undefined-signed-o...

pawadu 2 days ago 2 replies      
The author has also been involved in development of "musl", a modern C11 compliant standard library implementation:



chrisd1100 2 days ago 12 replies      
I'm really surprised by the "hate" for C that is appearing in these comments. What ever happened to actually enjoying the danger of getting low level? Is assembly also useless because it isn't readable?

There is a lot of great code written in C, and a lot of crappy code written in C. Because C doesn't protect you from yourself, it exacerbates any design flaws your code may have, and makes logical errors ever more insidious. So in this sense, the quality of the C you write is really a reflection of you as a C programmer, not the shortcomings of the language. Maybe you've been badly burned by C in the past, but keep an open mind and understand that C can be beautiful.

SwellJoe 3 days ago 6 replies      
It's been a decade or more since I've worked in C (and have never been a heavy C coder). Is "modern C" really a thing?

I mean, is there some subset of C that is safer than what I think of when I think of C? I know about stuff like reference counting techniques, rather than manual memory management, for example, and that goes miles towards safer coding. But, even so, the variety of ways you can shoot yourself in the foot with C are seemingly beyond counting. Are threads and async easier and/or safer now than 10-20 years ago, and with more direct language or standard library support? Is memory management in the standard library safer today? Are there concurrency primitives (beyond low-level interacting with epoll or kqueues or even fork or whatever)?

I mean, it's obviously possible to write reliable, safe, secure, software in C (Linux, Git, SQLite, all come to mind), but how much easier has it gotten? Would anyone choose C for a new systems project with no legacy baggage or dependencies, in a world with Rust and Go?

marmaduke 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's nice to see this perspective kept alive. I put some effort into a numerical library (github.com/maedoc/sddekit) in C99, and I didn't find the language lacking until I tried to imitate inherited interfaces with virtual dispatch by hand (empirically I can say, a poor move in C lib design).

I did find it useful to apply rules like only use uint32_t, double & bool as primitives.

My main wish is that it would be possible to opt into automatic const & restrict, as a compiler flag or pragma, so that something like


would be easier to do.

ape4 2 days ago 5 replies      
Goto is considered useful by the book:

The use of goto and similar jumps in programming languages has been subject to intensive debate, starting from an article by Dijkstra [1968]. Still today you will find people that seriously object code as it is given here, but let us try to be pragmatic aboutthat: code with or without goto can be ugly and hard to follow.

zunzun 2 days ago 3 replies      
I personally prefer Prehistoric C, which only has the two language keywords "ugh" and "grunt". Modern C has too many keywords for my taste.
AlexeyBrin 3 days ago 0 replies      
The author provides the book as a free to download pdf at http://icube-icps.unistra.fr/img_auth.php/d/db/ModernC.pdf
nabla9 2 days ago 4 replies      
What alternatives there are for C/C++ if you want to write library that you can call from Python, R, Matlab, Java, Rust, Lua, node.js ... and have good performance?

Old ones like Ada and Fortran of course.

There are newcomers like Rust and Go. Are their C api's mature and portable?

pcr0 2 days ago 1 reply      
For someone who studied basic C/C++ in university and is interested in hacking around in C, should I read this over K&R?
Waterluvian 3 days ago 4 replies      
I've had no luck learning a language on its own. But I've had a lot of luck learning languages as part of something bigger. Like C# via. Unity, Swift via. 2D game dev in XCode.

Any suggestions on what I should apply C to as a way to learn it?

kruhft 2 days ago 1 reply      
The best book I had for learning more about C was titled 'Writing Bug Free Code For Windows' from the late '90s early 2000's. It contained a complete object oriented system using simple header tricks and data hiding plus covered all sorts of pre-processor tricks that aren't evident until you really dig into what C can really do. I'm sure it's impossible to find now, but recommended.
minxomat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I get a 500 error. Here's an archive link: http://web.archive.org/web/20161128093244/http://icube-icps....
leighflix 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Would any C-lovers recommend this book to people that already know programming (but not sys programming) wanting to learn C?

I personally know Java, (lil bit) Elixir, and Python.

EDIT: I'll also be reading K&R along side it.

frag 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to cry... remembering the old good time of C programming... ohhhh
aleksei 2 days ago 7 replies      
Another day for the HN crowd to express their distaste for C :)
awinter-py 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yikes. important words that don't appear in this: 'static analysis', 'verification'.

On the 'wow' side, had no idea there was a _Generic macro. Pretty cool.

qwertyuiop924 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can any C programmers evaluate this book? I don't do a lot of C, so I can't really do it.

Does it advocate good best practices?

Does it talk about pitfalls?

Does it overemphasize new, possibly less widely implemented, features?

Does it do/not do anything else we should know about?

pksadiq 2 days ago 3 replies      
I would recommend that anyone who hires a programmer should test his/her knowledge in C (especially in areas like code that produces undefined or unspecified results), even if the candidate is never going to code in C, ever.

If he/she knows these concepts well, that means he/she have invested much time, and probably know other things well enough (or can learn them easily).

joveian 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't looked at this updated version (site is busy :/) but the version I looked at a while ago is quite good.

The author's use of register to avoid aliasing is something I hadn't heard before and seems like a good idea in some cases.

Beyond the learning C aspects, I really hope that some of the author's suggestions for language extensions are implemented.

sndean 2 days ago 4 replies      
Pardon my noobness, but if I learned and became proficient in C and knew nothing else, would I have a marketable skill?

Is it possible for C to be a standalone skill, where ones job could be 100% programming in C, or do you need a lot of auxiliary knowledge outside of that?

giis 3 days ago 2 replies      
I looked into the table of contents & jumped into pages of it. It looks like good material on best practices & optimization rules & tips. Quickly, bookmarked it & definitely worth reading.

IMO, the title here is misleading, I don't think new feature is added to C to make it modern.

pawadu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any idea if it will be available as a physical book?
hitlin37 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi, is there a epub version of this book? The pdf format is painful to read.
manish_gill 2 days ago 1 reply      
If people aren't so into this book, can anyone suggest some other book beyond K&R?
grabcocque 2 days ago 1 reply      
I mean, the problem cut C is not that it is old, but that it is dangerous.
MrRobotic 3 days ago 2 replies      
I didn't use C much. What kind of features of are in the book that make it modern?
kzrdude 2 days ago 0 replies      
Will this book be printed? I would love to get a paper copy.
fb03 2 days ago 1 reply      
ITT: Heated arguments and zealotry. In resume:"C is outdated, its ubiquitousness is just a historical accident"

"Better tools exist to do this job"

"C is not needed anymore" (Yet no contender has ever come close to it, hehehe --my2c)

There, saved you a ton of reading time.

timthorn 2 days ago 1 reply      
grabcocque 2 days ago 1 reply      
It strikes me as odd you'd even go to the lengths of producing such a book. If you really wanted to protect people from the worst vagaries C the book should simply say "don't".
grabcocque 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like an Oxymoron. "Make sure your buffer flow exploits are up to the minute! Make sure your systematic lack of memory safety totally captures the zeitgeist!"
How Google Is Challenging AWS stratechery.com
372 points by tortilla  12 hours ago   120 comments top 15
seregine 10 hours ago 7 replies      
Having worked at both places for ~4 years each, I would say Amazon is much more of a product company, and a platform is really a collection of compelling products.

Amazon really puts customers first. Their platform and organization are made up of small teams that own services with well-defined interfaces, accountable for customer metrics. All profits are reinvested, so resources and perks are scarce, efficiency matters, and management is tight. The platform emerged because internal teams thought of their infrastructure services as products with customers.

Google really puts ideas (or technology) first; it aims to hire the smartest people and rewards them for launching new things and solving complex problems rather than optimizing UX or making customers happy. Resources are ample and management is loose, so individual contributors can try new things with greater leisure. It's been compared to grad school. But simplifying customer experience is less of a priority, so the internal infrastructure was notoriously complex and hard to use. They're now learning to prioritize customers, but it's hard to change culture.

Of course, both companies are huge and diverse and evolving, so you'll find plenty of variance.

App Engine wasn't evidence of Google being a product company, nor does it exemplify the company's strategy. It was a grassroots project that for years didn't receive much leadership support, but was still allowed to launch and grow.

brilliantcode 10 hours ago 5 replies      
If Google released an IDE with tight integration to Google Cloud like Azure + Visual Studio, that's a potential killer app that lowers the perceived switching cost.

If you told me to use Azure two years ago I would've laughed you out of the room. But here I am in 2016, using Azure, using ASP.net + IIS on Visual Studio. that's some powerful shit and currently AWS has cost leadership and perceived switching cost as their edge.

By introducing a layer of learning curve, you lock in your customers but eventually the other guys will race to lower that curve.

olimashi 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I think Ben (who I generally think is right on) in this post misapprehends the effectiveness of generalized data for machine learning services and thus the effectiveness of this approach in Googles strategy here. Perhaps the slide makers in Mountain View have the same misapprehension.

1 - Prediction API - you provide your own data there, so no data advantage from Google there.

2 - Cloud Natural Language API - the effectiveness really depends on what type of text you want to understand. If Googles training data includes information about my type of text application great, but if it doesnt then what? How do I know that?

3 - Cloud Vision API - likewise. Can I subset the training set? Provide my own examples? If they subset, can I inspect the examples?

4 - Translation API seems like the exception here, mainly because the odds are that customers of translation service are unlikely to have collected language pairs and this collection is more highly specialized. But its unclear that this one API would be the deciding factor for many companies choosing which cloud vendor to use.

ML services as a differentiator have yet to be proven out. I am highly suspect. Yes, some big general data sets will be better on some applications than others, but an enterprises own data about their problem will always be better than a huge, general data set. And if youre using your own data anyway, youre going to care about all the platformy things Amazon has already been winning with.

Barring proprietary breakthroughs in unsupervised learning, I dont believe that this strategy as outlined will work in practice.

aikah 11 hours ago 3 replies      
tldr; competition is good.

Google Cloud UI is vastly superior to AWS. It's clear to me AWS didn't put a lot of effort into their interface, Google console is nice too in order to quickly experiment with the platform. On the other hand, it seems to me that AWS is still cheaper than GCloud right now.

origami777 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There's always the simpler explanation to why Google is getting traction:

- Price/performance is better in some/many cases for VMs

- It's easy(ier?) to use

- Clear technical advantage with some of their other services e.g. Load balancers

- Customers prefer when there are multiple companies competing for their business

I get that there are long-term strategies that involve the likes of container services. But just the fact that they are better in some areas will help them get traction. Plus they have a fantastic brand name.

wangii 2 hours ago 0 replies      
>> Microsoft did the same with its Win32 API. Yes, this meant that Windows was by design a worse platform in terms of the end user experience than, say, Mac OS ...

The author loses his creditability since here.

daxfohl 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Frankly I still like the Heroku model the best. Do one thing and do it well. Have third-party plugins handle the other things. It fits the "cloud" vision better, than consolidating all your functionality with one provider. That seems like a regression. I just wish Heroku was cheaper at scale. I don't understand why it's not. It seems like they could reduce prices and still remain profitable, while increasing their visibility greatly.
daxfohl 8 hours ago 2 replies      
> Yes, this meant that Windows was by design a worse platform in terms of the end user experience than, say, Mac OS, but it was far more powerful and extensible, an approach that paid off with millions of line of business apps that even today keep Windows at the center of business.

Is there any validity to this? I don't do much OS-level programming, but is the Win32 API really that much more powerful and extensible?

saosebastiao 11 hours ago 1 reply      
> Amazons AWS strategy sprang from the same approach that made the company successful in the first place

I'd argue that Amazon isn't a successful company, they are a popular company with a few large successes surrounded by decaying and decrepit failures that won't die. But then again I'm biased.

As far as Amazon's AWS strategy, I can't comment (I worked in the retail business side). But I can comment on a relatively small aspect of management that I witnessed. At one point in time I had a very strong need for PostGIS, and I lamented on an internal email list about AWS not having a Postgres version of RDS. I received an email directly from Raju Gulabani, VP of databases in AWS. He scheduled an appointment with me, him, and two product managers. He asked me pointed questions about why I wanted Postgres over the other options, how I would be using it, what extensions I wanted, and what features were important to me. He thanked me for my time, and less than a year later it was released to the public.

In the retail business side, I never had more than 2 minutes at a time with someone at the director level, and not once had I spoken to someone at the VP level. Literally zero communication from the bottom up, everything was top down. Whether AWS had already been working on it or not I don't know, but they definitely took the time to hear my case, and when it was released it was almost perfectly as I had asked for. And that, IMO is waaaay more important than anything regarding the size of a team or whatever the fluff pieces have attributed.

mixmastamyk 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I would like to try out google cloud due to its lower costs, but don't trust them with my data--partially perception I know. Also Amazon has never failed me over the last 15 years I've been doing business with them, so I'll probably continue despite the clunkiness of their products.
honkhonkpants 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I disagree with the central thesis of this article that Google is a product company rather than a platform company. I think that's wrong because throughout its history Google has asked itself "what if we had this?" first, and built the products around that later. Essentially the company believes that products will naturally emerge if you hire tens of thousands of engineers and deploy an unholy number of computers. I said this before on this site: Google's core product is dirt-cheap computing. Everything else follows from that.
ap22213 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I want to try out Google, but they need to make it easier to try it out. I have petabytes of data in S3 that I would need to move first (at least some of it).
perseusprime11 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is how Amazon is challenging Google as of today.https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/30/amazon-launches-amazon-ai-...
thiyags 10 hours ago 1 reply      
very nice article. well articulated. not just tech but also the different business models(futuristic)
lasermike026 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. How about criminal penalties for false arrest due to bugs?

To be serious this is a catastrophic failure. We can not deprive people of there freedom because of a glitch. This system doesn't have fail safes.

FDA Agrees to New Trials for MDMA as Relief for PTSD Patients nytimes.com
311 points by victorbojica  18 hours ago   157 comments top 10
CoryG89 16 hours ago 4 replies      
The fact that one of the doctors in the article compares the dangers to opioids is misleading or misguided. MDMA has an exceptionally small potential for long term abuse when compared to most other drugs. Despite having studied brain damage in chronic users (not very many of these), I doubt the doctor has ever personally done opiates and MDMA. Anyone who has had any significant experience with both would laugh at the comparison when it comes to potential for abuse.
patrickaljord 16 hours ago 8 replies      
How about letting consenting adults free of doing what they want to their own body and legalizing all drugs?
mdmauser1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Having taken MDMA several times purely for recreational use, it doesn't surprise me at all that used correctly, it could help treat conditions like PTSD.

It is an incredibly powerful drug and I genuinely believe since taking MDMA i've been a much more empathetic & loving person.

Whilst the high may only last a few hours, you tend to remember the emotions you experienced quite well.

phkahler 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Divorced, alcoholic and at times suicidal, he had tried almost all the accepted treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder: psychotherapy, group therapy and nearly a dozen different medications.

Once again I have to advocate for EMDR, which is not mentioned here at all. There are very few accepted treatments. Most drugs will only treat symptoms, not the underlying condition.

dimal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> The researchers are so optimistic that they have applied for so-called breakthrough therapy status with the Food and Drug Administration, which would speed the approval process. If approved, the drug could be available by 2021. (my emphasis).

The expedited process takes three years. No wonder the only way that most drugs get approved is because the drug is patented and the company that brings them to market can expect huge profits. Existing unpatentable (cheap) drugs usually don't have a backer with deep pockets to go through this process. Our health care market seems to offer perverse incentives at every turn designed to increase cost and decrease effectiveness.

contingencies 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Although MDMA was first synthesized by Merck in Darmstadt in Germany in 1914 - https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalD... - apparently nobody has yet erected a museum. Surely it would be a tourist draw in Europe?
josscrowcroft 6 hours ago 0 replies      
From the outside, I'm curious if anybody here has any comment on what effect (if any) a Trump presidency could have on this and related research/progress?

In all the noise of the election run, I didn't any position on controlled substances and medical research coming from Trump's side.

sampple 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds good. I know that a lot PTSD patients feel that they are neglected.
warcode 16 hours ago 7 replies      
Calling MDMA "Ecstasy" seems like bad journalism. While Ecstasy should contain MDMA it often has all kinds of other things in it.

Nobody would ever allow the use of Ecstasy as a treatment drug.

Show HN: Antd A set of high-quality React components ant.design
498 points by _yesmeck  3 days ago   104 comments top 32
floatrock 3 days ago 2 replies      
For those wondering who it comes from, https://ant.design/docs/spec/introduce#Who-are-using-Ant-Des...

The first (and presumably namesake) company is Ant Financial https://www.antgroup.com, which is described as:

> Ant Financial Services Group ("Ant Financial"), was officially founded in October 2014 and originated from Alipay which is the world's leading third-party payment platform founded in 2004.

So basically if Bootstrap came out of Twitter, this came out of Alibaba and Co. Big name behind it.

chrismorgan 2 days ago 3 replies      
This stuff is horrible to use from the keyboard visually, because outlines have been removed without an adequate replacement. Please fix the styles for :focus et al. Make it all obvious, like Microsoft have done in Windows 10 (they have what is pretty much just a 2px solid black outline).
sallar 2 days ago 2 replies      
I tried using these components in Buttercup (our open source password vault https://github.com/buttercup-pw/buttercup), but immediately regretted it. It's impossible to theme, the less/css files are dirty and not extensible, defaults mess with your current style, etc. At first look, it looks promising and great but not when you actually try to use it.
Kiro 2 days ago 2 replies      
Has anyone used this? https://github.com/dvajs/dva
SlyShy 3 days ago 2 replies      
Some really beautiful components like the TreeSelect in there, not trivial to build at all.

That said, the first time I loaded the page sure took a long time. Kind of sad to need Webpack to create chunks just to recreate the old effect of not loading all the content for your website all at once.

dEnigma 2 days ago 1 reply      
The site looks pretty bad in a small browser window:


iampherocity 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like it, there have been a couple projects where this would have cut time in half.

Some of the controls were hard to navigate on an iPad Pro. Time in particular was hard to use, not enough space. This is a fault of the resolution of the pro, but if the targets aren't big enough, I'm scrolling the page instead of the hours.

crudbug 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was playing with it, great toolkit. The overall design language is neatly done.

Is it possible to convert the remaining site pages [0] into english.

Also, the mobile friendly components [1] also look great.

[0] https://ant.design/docs/pattern/navigation

[1] https://github.com/ant-design/1x.mobile.ant.design

cturhan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow! that's very detailed UI kit. You guys thought all the necessary details when building web apps.It will definitely be my next project's UI kit :)
electic 3 days ago 3 replies      
I was wondering if someone who is good at JS can compare this to BluePrint[1]?

[1] https://github.com/palantir/blueprint

brokentone 2 days ago 0 replies      
The actual components seem interesting. The odd part of this seems to be the building/requiring process. It seems that there are some implicit dependencies on webpack, which are not well spelled out.

It appears the team chose to make an oddly generically named babel plugin: `babel-plugin-import` which seems to do some manipulation of CSS/SASS/etc styles (which seems out of scope for babel). I assume the generic name was chosen hoping other libraries would embrace a similar pattern, however, I'm not seeing any spec defining how another library should implement this.


mikeryan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Man this site is unusable on mobile
anilshanbhag 2 days ago 0 replies      
The site has some really good components. The only stopping me from using it is its not designed with mobile in mind. You don't get bootstrap like classes 'col-md-6 col-sm-12'. The grid is percentage based.
jbhatab 2 days ago 1 reply      
How's this compare to material-ui? I like material ui and it looks like you have some nice components, just curious what the x-factor is.

Always up to use a new tool!

Dowwie 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those looking for a cohesive ant design-centered library for Vue, this seems like the react project's counterpart : http://okoala.github.io/vue-antd/#!/components

The project appears to have far fewer features than the react project at this time

ohstopitu 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks promising! How does this compare to BlueprintJS [0]?

While I did like some components from Antd and intend to look into the source, from a basic overview, a lot of the documentation seems to be in Chinese.

[0] http://blueprintjs.com/

nodesocket 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is the nicest collection of web UX components I've ever seen (better than bootstrap). All of the look and feel (responsiveness and delays) are just right. Animations are not too heavy-handed and add to the experience.

Is this by Stripe? The components look just like their dashboard.

kimshibal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another good stuff by Chinese team. For Vue components, we have support from Ele.me
misiti3780 2 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone used these: http://themes.getbootstrap.com/

How does it compare ?

z3t4 2 days ago 1 reply      
The design is good. It look nice! But it is very heavy compared to native HTML and CSS. It's like taking a space ship, to go visit your neighbor.
bflesch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great library, and very good to have an alternative to the react date/timepicker widgets out there.

Is someone already working on a bootstrap-themed version of this?

tschellenbach 3 days ago 2 replies      
Large library, I particularly liked the @mention component, first time i see a library providing that.
morejs 1 day ago 0 replies      
we use antd component to build our internal applications almost half a year. It improves our efficiency obviously.thanks antd team.
Rodeoclash 3 days ago 1 reply      
What's the filesize for this?
eklavya 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's so beautiful! Please please make something like this for react native too.
jumasheff 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing! Amazing work!
cocktailpeanuts 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't want to be that guy, and probably will be downvoted for being negative, but why does everything load so slow?

People on this thread are saying it's the network speed thing, coming from china and all, but isn't this supposed to have downloaded all the js modules initially?

I just keep thinking "it would have been much faster and I wouldn't have to wait for these progress bars to finish if it were just a static page".

Why does a documentation need a progress bar anyway?

secoif 3 days ago 5 replies      
These components look and work great, but unfortunately are a real headache to retheme unless you want to pull in a sass/less toolchain in addition to what you're currently using. This is a pain in the ass if you already have your theme variables set up in one compiles-to-CSS language.

There is a standard for CSS variables and a very functional subset of their functionality can be compiled for older browsers at build time: http://cssnext.io, yet as far as I can tell, all of these component frameworks impose some other nonstandard compiles-to-CSS language or one of many possible APIs for writing inline styles.

Inline styles seem to be a trend at the moment but I can only assume the people driving this movement haven't had the experience of working with 3rd party components (which you may or may not have the source for) and needing to alter something the designers didn't expose and simply having no simple options because the damn inline style can't be overridden even by !important. Now you've got to fork whole the f'ing component, possibly multiple, each of which potentially coming with yet another different compiles-to-CSS toolchain all because you wanted to add a single line of CSS.

Admittedly, antd doesn't use inline styles si the above doesn't apply here, but having to maintain a custom builder for antd in order to change some fonts and a few colors was a frustrating experience. Not sure what a good solution is until CSS variables get more browser adoption, but it'd be great if we could collectively start standardizing on standards.

datashovel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to speak generally about new UI components, since this is the 2nd post in a week (about a new library of UI components) that reached front page (that I've seen) which are not addressing what I see as a fundamental issue that future UI libraries should address.

For mobile platforms specifically. Now on the surface you can say that UI libraries these days, more or less, will work similarly if not exactly the same across platforms. I would say for most "types" of components this will be true. But form input field behavior is different enough between mobile platforms that I'm questioning why we aren't moving quickly away from native HTML form input fields.

I totally get the argument for accessibility (probably a lot of accessibility platforms depend on these fields), but even accessibility standards such as ARIA, because of some of these inconsistencies, should be pushing toward this goal (decoupling the form input UI components from native HTML form input fields) I think.

Does anyone else here have a strong opinion one way or another as far as their experience building PWA's on mobile where they've encountered the differences between platforms (I'm specifically familiar with Android vs. iOS)? Do you find the differences to be easy to work around? I'm especially interested in feedback from folks who have required some relatively detailed behaviors, such as consistency in how input fields behave when "tabbing" to the next / previous field, or how the "input type='time'" fields behave differently in terms of when DOM events fire while setting time. Or how native keyboard behaviors / layouts are sufficiently different that you'd prefer to have a way to make the experience within your app more consistent?

aryehof 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can only imagine. Nothing shows but a blank page when clicking a site link in my iPad.
nathanwindsor 3 days ago 1 reply      
This looks great! Link doesn't work though...
Software Engineering Internship Amazon Interview Experience rajk.me
433 points by quantumtremor  4 hours ago   289 comments top 70
kafkaesq 4 hours ago 11 replies      

 The following information will be collected during the duration of the exam:Your microphoneYour webcamYour physical locationYour head movementsYour eye movementsYour mouth movements
Creepy as all get-out. By all means, lets have more leaks like this.

manacit 3 hours ago 8 replies      
By all means, this is not unique to Amazon - not that it makes it any better.

I did a post-grad interview for Epic (epic.com - healthcare software) in a similar fashion, that was at least as draconian.

After passing a 15 minute phone screen, they sent me a link to a service that:

* Installed their proprietary software on my Mac

* Connected me to a real person who verified my DL against who they were expecting

* Had me swing my laptop 360 degrees around the room I was taking the test in, to make sure there were no notes or people assisting me on the quiz

* Took remote control of my computer and force quit any programs in Activity Monitor that were on their 'blacklist' (including Dropbox, etc)

* Gave me what I imagine amounted to a three-hour SAT style test with English proficiency, math, logic, etc.

* The whole time, had that same person watching me through my webcam and watching my screen, to make sure that I was not cheating.

I passed, and during my in-person full-day interview in Wisconsin, they had me do a few more of these tests (that were slightly harder and more about communication skills), as well as some interviews with people in person.

It was an interesting experience for sure - definitely a different side of the coin compared to what a lot of HN is probably used to. I ended up getting an offer that was very good considering they are based outside of Madison, but ultimately decided to go somewhere else.

bsg75 3 hours ago 7 replies      
> You will not be able to open any tabs or windows

If I had to code purely from memory, without the benefit of language or library docs, I would not be able to write anything of use.

Personally when hiring, I'm not interested in a candidate's memory recall, but the ability to use resources when faced with a new challenge.

mabbo 3 hours ago 3 replies      
As a developer at Amazon who does interviews, what the fuck?

I imagine part of this is a response to the very, very large amount of time we spend interviewing interns every winter (I know I typically do 2 or 3 sessions of 3 1-hour interviews in a row). There's just too many interviews to do.

Someone wants to innovate and find ways to sort the good from the bad without SDE time spent, I would guess. I hope this isn't the new system for everyone. Then again, if it saves me hours and hours of phone screens...

zeppelin101 4 hours ago 9 replies      
Wait, I see nothing wrong with any of this. Obviously Amazon is trying to curb cheating on remote coding/compatibility tests. They don't actually care to collect any info about you beyond what you do during the test. They don't care which websites you visit before or after the test. Or how you use your clipboard - after the test. But during the test, it's not so unreasonable. People do cheat, especially if they can get away with it and when the payoff is potentially huge.
Spooky23 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Have you ever done lots of remote interviews in a big company?

The scamming is unbelievable. I've personally seen outright fraud... the guy in the video was a redhead with freckles, his name was an ethnic Vietnamese. Somehow they brought him in for an in-person interview, a Vietnamese dude shows up.

- Clueless. Guy was literally reading a manual.

- One guy offered me a bribe.

- one guy asked if his status as an illegal and conviction for hacking a phone company back home would effect things.

iamleppert 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Why would anyone want to ever work for Amazon? Their culture is terrible and they are not innovative despite their claims to the contrary. They are simply a technical sweat shop that tries a lot of random things.

There's more to life than working for a big tech company. Big tech companies are the worst. If you value your life and you're a creative person and good at what you do, find yourself a (good) medium size company that pays well.

They're out there.

drubio 3 hours ago 3 replies      
As much as I would like to bash Amazon for their draconian and insane interview loops -- which I've been put through once.

The post clearly states these clauses were part of an exam taken on https://proctorio.com/ for the Amazon interview. So it's doubtful Amazon HR is fully aware of these clauses.

I would happily bash Amazon interview loops all day long, but in this particular case, I would also need to criticize anyone else that uses https://proctorio.com/ for these practices.

pfarnsworth 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
When I interview people, I give them a question and tell them to google whatever they want and use whatever libraries they want that will make their lives easier: I'm not asking a trick question.

Even then only about 15% of the people pass my question. I'm sure there are plenty of fair interview questions you could ask where you don't have to care about cheating, and just see if they can come up with an answer.

arh68 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A firm similar to Proctorio, HireSuccess, says this on their website:

> Hire Success does not offer nor provide any option where an Applicant is required to submit a photograph or video response to questions because we believe it violates EEOC Guidelines.

I wonder how Proctorio + Amazon reconcile that viewpoint.

Furthermore, if you read the EEOC, some of Proctorio's questions seem to really push the rule: If an employer requires job applicants to take a test, the test must be necessary and related to the job. How is 27:24::64:X related to the job, again?

[0] http://www.hiresuccess.com/blog/is-employment-testing-legal/

[1] https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm

reacharavindh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I find this funny, stupid and creepy at the same time.

Creepy - recording a dude's facial reactions, eye movements, mouth movements.. All this for a remote interview screening?

Stupid - I believe quickly Googling for some documentation, or even better solutions can save loads of a developer time in this day and age with StackOverflow. I would instead consider a person that was smart enough to cheat in a code test like this as a great choice. This reminds me so much of schooling system in India where the kid who memorizes essays verbatim scores higher than the kid who actually understood it and reproduced in own words.

Funny - Did they really think no one would object to this and post this on social media or HN?

My current manager who hired me right out of Grad school tells me, "Interview is a two-way process. A candidate need to be tested whether is talented and is a good fit for the team. Equally importantly, the candidate should be sold on the idea of working for us(company)."

On that case, Amazon has even tougher job of convincing a candidate. Not all sane people would want to work for above average pay while putting up with ridiculous work pressure [thinking about that guy who jumped off of Amazon work place].

[1] - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-28/amazon-wo...

frakkingcylons 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I went through Amazon's two online tests in October 2016 while interviewing for a full-time position.

I took the first test just like the OP, the logical reasoning part seemed kind of irrelevant and a waste of time for me. That was nothing compared to the second online test.

The environment of the second test was like a scenario out of Black Mirror. Not only did they want to have the webcam and microphone on the entire time, I also had to install their custom software so the proctors could monitor my screen and control my computer. They opened up the macOS system preferences so they could disable all shortcuts to take screenshots, and they also manually closed all the background services I had running (even f.lux!).

Then they asked me to pick up my laptop and show them around my room with the webcam. They specifically asked to see the contents of my desk and the walls and ceiling of my room. I had some pencil and paper on my desk to use as scratch paper for the obvious reasons and they told me that wasn't allowed. Obviously that made me a little upset because I use it to sketch out examples and concepts. They also saw my phone on the desk and asked me to put it out of arm's reach.

After that they told me I couldn't leave the room until the 5 minute bathroom break allowed half-way through the test. I had forgotten to tell my roommate I was taking this test and he was making a bit of a ruckus playing L4D2 online (obviously a bit distracting). I asked the proctor if I could briefly leave the room to ask him to quiet down. They said I couldn't leave until the bathroom break so there was nothing I could do. Later on, I was busy thinking about a problem and had adjusted how I was sitting in my chair and moved my face slightly out of the camera's view. The proctor messaged me again telling me to move so they could see my entire face.

The whole experience was degrading. If you're wondering why I did it, well, I've been using various AWS services for five years and I admired the work that the AWS team had done. Furthermore, I need the income to support my parents and Amazon was the best chance I had at the time. I got invited to do an on-site interview but I declined once I had another offer, and I'm glad I did.

EDIT: Small detail I forgot to mention. When I was showing them my desk, I had the monitor for my desktop (I was using my laptop for the test) and they asked me to turn the monitor so it was facing backwards.

quantumtremor 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Reiterating the questions posed at the end,

To what extent should personal ethics play in deciding where a (software) engineer should work? What if the engineer has no other choices for a job, and needs to (make rent/pay the bills/eat food)?

It is true that it'd be pretty easy to circumvent the tracking, by placing paper over the webcam, running the browser in a virtual machine, spoofing data to the browser, and so on. However these are infeasible for most non-technical people, so I don't think it's a real solution. Freedom shouldn't be only for those with extremely technical knowledge.

freyir 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't say these tactics are good, but they're understandable. The issue is cultural differences, where the pressure to succeed and a different value system leads to people to gaming the system to succeed. The alternative is hiring people who have used deceptive methods, rather than competence, to succeed up to that point.

If companies hadn't been burned many times, they wouldn't resort to such drastic measures.

joncp 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This is Amazon, which is known to be one of the least ethical dev shops around. I'm terribly unsurprised by this.
orange_county 1 hour ago 1 reply      
People who are saying the webcam monitoring is a equivalent to spyware are over-reacting. This is no different than an in-person interview.

I think if anything the logic portion is the biggest travesty here. It doesn't have to do anything with programming and it boils down to a reading comprehension test that does not bode well with non-native speakers. But I guess that is there goal.

Jach 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
> To what extent should personal ethics play in deciding where a (software) engineer should work?

A significant one, surely.

> What if the engineer has no other choices for a job, and needs to (make rent/pay the bills/eat food)?

Look, sometimes you can compromise for practicality. But even then there's pretty much always more than one option. Almost anyone can get a low wage job at department store/grocery store/restaurant/whatever so they can eat, guilt-free, and there are still degrees. You don't have to immediately go for the extreme of selling your soul to the devil, you have other options. (To bring it back to the concrete, especially as a tech intern; there are tons of companies that aren't Amazon.)

brudgers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If nothing else, the requirements screen for people likely to accept similar conditions in the workplace.
eykanal 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazon - just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

Not to mention... this is just the interview. Imagine what it must be like for the people who actually work there.

guelo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the privacy issue? If you go to an on-site interview they'll look you write in the eyes and see your eye movements. They'll know where you are, if you're browsing the web for some reason, etc. It's just a test they don't you cheat on. Are you thinking they'll sell their interview data to advertisers? Seems preposterous.
c3534l 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't really care much about amazon because I hear they monopolize your life and have an aggressive culture. However, I do like me some puzzles:

1. The passage is about the good and bad of fanfiction which is posted on the internet. I pedantically disagree with the exact reading of response 2, but it's the correct one, I believe.

2. Only conclusion 1 is necessarily true, because of the transitive property of inequalities; X ? Y and Z/Y can be rewritten as X < Y <= Z. However, we cannot relate any magnitude information to V and it is not necessarily true that a number becomes larger when multiplied by another number (if we assume X is zero and V is positive, for instance).

3. These kinds of spot-the-pattern questions are incredibly arbitrary. However, the most obvious thing to associate with the alphabet is a numerical association with the letters based on it's placement in the common (but not universal) ordering of the Latin alphabet. When you do that, you see that UVS is the only sequence of letters that aren't "descending" even though letters can't truly be ordered.

4. The No Free Lunch Theorem says that no statistical method can find a pattern on the set of all possible inputs, which is why these questions are all bullshit, mathematically speaking. The only thing that makes 4 a better next step for the sequence 1, 2, 3, is that our own personal experience tells us that counting is fairly common, but enumerating the squarefree numbers isn't. You could also make the case that 27:24 has the pattern of 3^3:3^3-3, so maybe 64:x is 4^3:4^3-4 making it 60, but this doesn't feel in any way obvious to me, so I have no idea what they're thinking.

lambda_func 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Absolute bullshit. All these tech companies are totally crazy about their interview processes as if they are really working on ground breaking stuff.
mbfg 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Ok so lets say i get this job at Big Brother Amazon. They give me my first assignment. I find a way to 'cheat' such that i finish the project in record time and it is perfect. You don't want that?

What the hell does cheating mean in software development.

audleman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> To what extent should personal ethics play in deciding where a (software) engineer should work?

I believe you should use your personal code of ethics as a compass to guide you in your life, including where you work.

> What if the engineer has no other choices for a job, and needs to (make rent/pay the bills/eat food)?

You're describing a clash of personal ethics and social ethics. Social ethics are saying this kind of tracking is alright, your personal ethics no. So, how strongly do you believe in your conviction? Would it be worth going hungry to stand up for what you believe?

Sort of a sliding scale, huh? The more you are pushed towards survival, the less options you have to exercise your personal ethics. On the other hand, maybe this point isn't as important as it seemed at first thought and you'll decide you're willing to be subjected to monitoring for the duration of the test (but not before or after of course)

YeGoblynQueenne 1 hour ago 0 replies      
>> Your eye movements

Presumably they have a cunning plan to use eye movements to decide which candidates are better programmers because eye movements suffice to tell apart the expert from the novices, in programming:



scantronz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's official. We now need burner laptops, TOR routing, secure enclaves, faraday cages, and EM spectrum analyzers just to apply for jobs.

But serious question: Who's the fucked up creep that decided to sell this idea? And who are the fucked up creeps that went along with it?

Why is this okay?

Have people lost their minds?

Whatever happened to Scantrons and a #2HB pencil?

mightybyte 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I can somewhat understand this kind of crazy monitoring if the stakes are high and the score on the test is the only or finally-deciding factor. But online tests for interviewing candidates are never that. So in this case I don't think this level of invasiveness is justifiable in the slightest. It's just a screen. Cheaters will get filtered out at the next stage in the hiring process.
downandout 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm curious why he didn't just disable/disconnect/cover the microphone & webcam. I realize this doesn't address the principle of the issue, but it does address the practical issue of applying for the job without giving into much of the creepiness here.

That said, with employees literally throwing themselves off of buildings to get away from Amazon [1], I'm not sure how much nonsense I'd put up with to get a job there anyway.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-28/amazon-wo...

Cozumel 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
'However these are infeasible for most non-technical people'

Most non-technical people wouldn't be applying for a software internship at Amazon!

minimaxir 4 hours ago 3 replies      
...so what is the answer to 27 : 24 :: 64 : ?
skynetv2 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Most online exams require these permissions to make sure you're not cheating. No big deal. It's not as sensational as author made it to be.
rdtsc 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Just a few days ago I did a fun and completely ridiculous exercise and compared Amazon to a country, and then wanted to see how it would look like. I ended up with Stalinism.

(I'll just paste it here and add some more to it):

* Personality cult: Bezos = Stalin

* You sing praises to the great leader: the 14 leadership principles.

* Officially they have a zero-tolerance policy for harshness. But I bet if anyone complains to HR they get sent to Siberia (i.e. put on performance improvement plan) or shot (terminated). https://sites.google.com/site/thefaceofamazon/home/fired-for...

* The top management is the Central Committee. They wield massive power. Officially it is a meritocracy but it is all about gaining favors with the ruling party.

* In the warehouses I hear they do these group exercises: Stalin loved public performances

* They like to monitor your microphone, eye, head, and mouth movements : NKVD (the secret police is watching you)

Who wants to add more?

randomuser9227 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Other companies aren't so draconian, and don't tend to treat potential talent so poorly.


chucksmash 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> (I'm not sure how this [accessing other tabs] works with Chrome's sandbox, though).

Just fine. The "tabs" permission is a blanket perm across all tabs in all windows. Extensions run at a higher level of trust than Joe Random Blog's JS and accordingly have access to more powerful APIs.

sintaxi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have assumed this is to test which applicants will stand up to authority and anyone who goes along with it would be disqualified.
58028641 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Running it in a VM can bypass/block most of those restrictions.
throwbsidbdk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can see why they might do this, anyone that can land a job with similar benefits somewhere else probably doesn't even apply, leaving them with the worst to choose from. Their climate gets even tougher because they "can't hire enough good engineers" and the cycle repeats.
ndesaulniers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't want to work at Amazon anyway
rdtsc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's say if this would not be just for interns but for everyone. Then there would be this second order effect where they filter candidates who don't mind this happening to them. If they keep at it long enough, they'll end up shaping the culture of the company in a certain way. Which may not be the way they'd want.
gwbas1c 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Interviews and recruiting is a two-way street. Legal / ethical or not, this kind of lock down sends a "we don't trust you" message.

Why would you interview someone you don't trust?

fosco 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I would be okay with this, if it was on their premises with their computer. that being said, I find these practices repulsive. but I feel like the SNL/west world skit. [0]


gengkev 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How is a Chrome extension able to detect what external monitors or running applications there are on the system?
monksy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That's tempting to apply just to take the test without any pants on and automate a porn browsing script in the background.
makmanalp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wait, so is this kind of pre-interview multiple choice IQ test style thing common now? In general or for amazon?
pricj004 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For anyone else curious, I got the following answers:

1) Fan fiction websites have pros and cons for the authors

2) Both the conclusions are true

3) UVS (the only one not in reverse alphabetical order)

4) 60 (because 3^3=27, 3^3-3=24, 4^4=64, 4^4-4=60)

imgabe 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm could you just record a loop of you sitting motionless at your computer and feed that to the camera input? Maybe some incredibly loud high pitched noise to the audio?

Not suggesting these as feasible solutions, but something like this deserves to be trolled.

Arkaad 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like Amazon has trust issues.
bobbybidon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You should have done the test in a virtual machine and disabled some features (cam, microphone) and record the screen (outside the virtual machine obiviously).
Robadob 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They sometimes use a similar locked down browser (respondus) for in class assessments at my university. Never used it myself, so not sure how similarly fine grained any tracking is.
sliken 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like there's a market for software that contains the browser/OS in a VM and allows feeding in your own audio/video feed.
Crito 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>"Hopefully these should convince you that this test has absolutely nothing to do with programming skill."

It's a rather blatant IQ test, though of course they would never call it that because that would open them up to disparate impact lawsuits.

tn13 4 hours ago 3 replies      
As someone who has first hand experienced cheating in interviews I think this is an extremely good move.

I know some people in bay area who are making > $100k in cash (no taxes paid) just by answering screening interviews on other people's behalf.

This is called "interview by proxy" and the person generally takes first month's salary as remuneration in cash.

77pt77 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What's stopping someone from running this inside a VirtualBox for example?
rajacombinator 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty cringeworthy, yet no surprise for a shop that's known to be a gulag.
ytwwaarmozhanoa 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
I recently accepted a position at Amazon (have not started working there yet) and I have a similar experience.

The first part of the interview was exactly like the linked experience. No coding questions just reasoning. The second part I had to use ProctorU instead of Proctorio. Personally I thought the experience was super weird but understandable, I'll get to that later, somebody watched me through my webcam the entire time with my microphone on. They needed to check my ID before the test. They needed me to show them the entire room I was in (which was my bedroom). My desktop computer was on behind my laptop so I turned off my computer (I don't remember if I offered to or if they asked me to) but they also asked me to cover my monitors up with something which I thought was silly after I turned them off so I covered them with a towel. They then used LogMeIn to remote into my machine so they could check running programs. I quit all my personal chat programs and pretty much only had the Chrome window running.

The proctored section involved a work simulation and coding questions. Before the coding section started they opened up the Java 7 and 8 docs, C++ docs, and an online calculator in my browser so I could use those for reference. I could take a break in between the two parts but I didn't need to. In total it took about 3 hours for me to finish everything but they said to block out 4 hours. After that I got an offer.

I didn't talk a real person who actually worked at Amazon (by email or through webcam) until I received an offer.

I can understand why people would be bothered or disturbed by these practices but I just thought that Amazon has a ton of applicants and it would take more time for engineers to talk to applicants. In total it took about a month from when I first applied to when I got an offer. I was then flown out to visit Amazon (not for more interviews because I already had an offer) and I actually got a chance to talk to people and learn about teams and ask questions. Yes, I asked multiple different people about Amazon's problems and they all said that their personal experience has been fine but a few said that they know of people who have had bad experiences. Seems like it's dependent on your manager. I know somebody who works there now (not in engineering but works in Seattle) and they love it. I found a team I liked, I talked to people who worked on the team and they all greatly enjoyed it so I accepted after my visit. Everyone who I talked to seemed very passionate about what they do and all take ownership over their projects.

I also applied to other large companies at the same time as Amazon (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter). Microsoft and Facebook haven't sent me anything. There was a mixup with Google's emails so that delayed my interview process but by the time I started talking to them I had already pretty much made my mind up about Amazon. I didn't go through any real interview rounds with Google, just preliminary screening questions. Twitter sent me a coding challenge but their email also said that they wouldn't get back to people until mid December.

rm_-rf_slash 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone who has seen Adam Curtis' documentary, "The Trap," will find this familiar.

Our society has become so obsessed with quantification that we have become blind to any other ways of understanding the world around us, and made us poorer in our analysis, instead of being more informed with more information.

It is like saying that if something cannot be measured, then it does not exist.

canacrypto 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Though I agree these requirements are unacceptable, I'd like to point out that you've refused on grounds of privacy infringement and then leaked Amazon's private information.
wutf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's an IQ test.
ledriveby 3 hours ago 1 reply      
How the hell can it record other websites and the entire screen? Neither of those things are accessible to standard Web technologies.
golergka 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Unrelated to the main point of the post, but claims that math and logic questions "have nothing to do with programming ability" are a little strange.
known 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Amazon hires highly skilled https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slaves
daodedickinson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If I ever decide to stop being a human being and start being a lab rat I know I have plenty of options.
draw_down 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess they have interesting problems to work on but I can't believe people work there. Hell no. (Not just this, I also know people who have worked there)
na85 4 hours ago 0 replies      
That is absolutely draconian.
debt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
wcummings 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fucking psychotic, I will never work for Amazon.
jghn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Will they be tracking my middle finger?
Skuzzzy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
iliveinseattle 4 hours ago 3 replies      
feels like this person is overreacting. You should also not be sharing any questions that were asked.
Show HN: React Native Express Learn React Native Through Interactive Examples reactnativeexpress.com
487 points by dabbott  2 days ago   53 comments top 17
hackcrafter 2 days ago 3 replies      
Q: Should one get familiar/experienced with React[0][1] first before jumping into React Native dev?

Or is this tutorial sufficiently stand-alone without React (web) experience?

[0] http://survivejs.com/react/introduction/

[1] https://online.reacttraining.com/p/reactjsfundamentals

primitivesuave 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the gold standard for online tutorials - concise explanations, interactive code, and a well-thought-out flow. Really appreciate you taking the time to produce such a high quality resource.
brentvatne 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is the best way to get started learning React Native, really amazing work Devin!
jblz 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is really well done. I'm fairly familiar with React & was able to pick this up around Section 3 "Core Components" [0] & feel like I could be decently productive with React Native.

Thanks for sharing your work!

[0] http://www.reactnativeexpress.com/core_components

WhitneyLand 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can anyone give pros/cons of RN vs Native in a nutshell?

I'm already familiar with native coding, but not sure how much better RN is than say PhoneGap.

pbrb 2 days ago 1 reply      
The sections with ES6 vs output compiled with babel is amazing. Javascript really has come a long way.
HodGreeley 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hod @ Couchbase. Looks like an excellent tutorial. I understand you have limited time, and this is providing a great resource to the community. I'd ask, if you have the chance, to take a look at Couchbase Mobile. I'm of course biased, but I think I can legitimately claim that Couchbase is on par with Realm (as evidenced by business critical apps using it in large scale deployments). Happy to chat about it (hod@couchbase).
p0larboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built a personal finance app using RN - https://www.titmiceapp.com/. I had some prior React.js knowledge but rest assured as long as you have javascript experience, you can do without it.

The biggest pain point so far is adding analytics but otherwise, everything is pretty smooth sailing.

Also I come from a web developer background, so structuring layout isn't too unfamiliar. AMA if you have any qns. I'm looking to pour all these experiences into a blog post before my next distraction comes and terrorizes my short-term memories

RubenSandwich 2 days ago 2 replies      
Small nit pick. Realm does not use the "underlying SQLite database" as listed here: http://www.reactnativeexpress.com/persistence. Realm is built from scratch as an append only database, see here: https://realm.io/products/realm-mobile-database/ and here: https://github.com/realm/realm-core.
disposablename 2 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't work at all on IE11/Win7, blank page, errors

 SCRIPT438: Object doesn't support property or method 'findIndex' File: bundle.js, Line: 2, Column: 26381

nikhilsimha 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent tutorial. I have been looking for something like this forever: "One should be able to learn React Native directly through this tutorial, without starting with React" Thank you!
danpalmer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Quick feedback: the first code example on http://www.reactnativeexpress.com/redux defines the action types in an object, but then never uses the definitions, instead just hard-coding strings. Would be good to fix.
KeatonDunsford 2 days ago 0 replies      
Omg perfect timing. I was just looking for something like this. Y'all are the best.
misiti3780 2 days ago 2 replies      
This looks pretty useful!

Question - is it possible to make a third-party keyboard in react native currently (the kind you download an install from the app store)?

phaed 2 days ago 2 replies      
FYI Array Spread section is missing the example.
chownation 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep up the great work! Upvoted ;)
therealmatt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing work!
Show HN: Anycomplete github.com
380 points by nathancahill  1 day ago   83 comments top 22
stroebjo 1 day ago 2 replies      
This uses the Google Autocomplete API which seems a bit risky to use [0] and according to this Google blog post should be already shut down [1]. Do you have any newer information on how reliable the API is?

[0]: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6428502/google-search-aut...[1]: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2015/07/update-on-autocomp...

jxy 1 day ago 3 replies      
If you have your shell ready,

 curl -sS 'https://www.google.com/complete/search?client=hp&hl=en&xhr=t&q=aurora' \ | json_pp | sed -nE '/<\/?b>/{s```g;s`"|,|^ *``g;p}'

mooman219 1 day ago 0 replies      
Had this idea a while back: I really enjoyed auto complete in my IDE and configurable expansions and I wanted that everywhere. I threw together an app to run in the background to keep track of the last word I typed and manage suggestions when I hit a hotkey. Read from a local dictionary, used basic usage frequency and levenshtein distance to recommend, pretty straightforward hacked together in an afternoon project. I could see Anycomplete using a more local suggestion list instead of relying on Google.

Ideally it showed a drop down under where you're typing much like most IDEs would, but support was shotty at best.I really wish there were more OS level hooks for this sort of thing, or a more standardized way to understand what the user is typing and where, but that's not something I ever expect to happen. My app was basically a keylogger while the one in the post is more like a separate entity altogether.

joshuak 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Universal autocomplete based on a local index of words? That would be great!

Universal autocomplete via google api? Hmm, something to think about.

1) Keyloggers

2) Filter bubbles

3) Offline tax

hossbeast 1 day ago 2 replies      
And by "Anywhere", you mean, on macOs
lbotos 1 day ago 4 replies      
I just tried Hammerspoon for the first time this week and it's really, really powerful. Currently working on an automation suite for a bunch of tedious "micro-workflows" that I deal with on a daily basis.
worldsayshi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there any similar tool for linux?
sytringy05 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's pretty cool, but I'm fairly certain that sooner or later I would end up googling my password.
pdaddyo 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great, thanks for sharing. I've opened a pull request (#5) with a tweak I made here - hold shift whilst choosing an option to actually show the google results instead of pasting. Hammerspoon looks fantastic, can't wait to automate even more!
rootlocus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is very useful for people like me who google words to check the correct spelling. Any plans on adding support for definitions / explanations of words? Something like the result of "define aurora" google query.
milge 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built something like this many moons ago for browser history. A service would run on your machine to aggregate your browser history. Typing "http://" anywhere on your machine would pop up a dialog with your history of most recently visited sites. I wonder if browsers have gotten better with APIs for web history and if it's any easier in windows. System-wide keystrokes had to be checked with win32 calls which could set off antivirus alarms. Keep up the good work. Maybe this will inspire me to see if things have gotten better.
outcoldman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea! I use Google so often for "anycomplete". Created similar extension for Alfred https://github.com/outcoldman/alfred-anycomplete
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nicely done. It will be interesting to see if this impacts your robot score when using Google. There was a blow up a while ago where people used the completion API to fish for trending searches and front run the Google News API and get stories onto the news page.
smnplk 1 day ago 0 replies      
nope, I am not sending my keystrokes anywhere
justinzollars 1 day ago 1 reply      
How does one get the output into an application? Do I have to use clipboard? Clicking command 1 simply closes the app
willcodeforfoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting, didn't know Hammerspoon had this "chooser" functionality. I guess with enough Lua you could replace Alfred!
erelde 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Would love to have that inside something like drun or rofi.
thecity2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Followed the installation steps, but it doesn't seem to work for me.
SimonSelg 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds grad from the ux perspective! Thanks!
pluma 1 day ago 1 reply      
> (macOS)


rm_-rf_slash 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is pretty cool, but it would really impress me if it could autocomplete facts based on contexts. I wish I could open a text editor and begin writing while Anycomplete(-plus) crawled the web for links to factual data based on the writing so far. Otherwise the context switching is time-consuming and discouraging.
Help Us Keep the Archive Free, Accessible, and Private archive.org
367 points by aaronbrethorst  1 day ago   70 comments top 20
bane 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Internet Archive is one of the crown jewels of the Internet. It's one of the things that I feel we were promised in the early days of technology, and it actually has managed to exist despite the massive commercialization of the Internet. In many ways it's the future we were promised, and it's an infinite pile of stuff so deep and wide that you could never buy another piece of entertainment and survive almost entirely off of the holdings in the archive and still not even scratch what's in there.
flashman 1 day ago 2 replies      
The Internet Archive is a modern Library of Alexandria. The latter was destroyed intentionally or accidentally, nobody knows for sure, but the point is that we have the technology to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Jason Scott has more on the backup: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5110

Lukas_Skywalker 1 day ago 1 reply      
Let's appreciate the comments section on the Archive page for a second. So many kind people. What a beautiful corner of the internet.
tmptmp 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Internet archive is a great project. It has been allowed to be created, in the first place. Then it was and is allowed to exist. This is what I like to about the modern, freer, liberal western democratic nations.

Then there are the great people who spend their time, energy and resources to make such things tick. A great thank you to all those philanthropic people behind the Internet archive and similar such projects. It's because of you, people like me have a hope to learn something significant and with a relatively low cost footprint.

I learned many things thanks to FSF, GNU, Gutenberg, Wikipedia, Internet archive and currently the scihub. I spent only about $10 per month for internet access. Could I even imagine getting such highclass knowledge at such a low cost? Not spent ridiculously high fees for college and still could learn a lot in history, economics, and some things from science, math, technology, engineering and many fields of knowledge. In fact, most of my significant education happened on Internet, thanks to such projects.

I love the USA and the modern liberal western world who made such things happen. Hats off.

Disclaimer: I am from a third world country. $10 p.m. was an expensive thing for me for a large time.

PS: I hope to be able to contribute more to such projects soon. I do contribute a rather insignificant amount as compared to the scale of things.

tetraodonpuffer 1 day ago 3 replies      
from the linked page

> so no one will ever be able to change the past just because there is no digital record of it. The Web needs a memory, the ability to look back.

I thought the issue is/was that site owners (original, or purchasing the domain afterwards) could via a robots.txt remove their site from the archive?

or has this changed and now no matter what happens if the archive crawls a site on a date it stays no matter if 10 years down the road somebody buys the domain and decides to retroactively erase everything?

webaholic 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder if Wikimedia can do something to help the internet archive. They are sitting on huge amounts of money and their goals are somewhat similar.
dirkg 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish one of the ultra rich people who are in tech would donate a huge amount and keep essential projects like this alive.
pasbesoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Things aren't going so well for me, this year. Not for the first year, in a row.

I'm going to respond by making donations I've been deferring, such as to archive.org .

Tomorrow...? Who knows?

Waiting doesn't work. I'm going to do what I can, now. Maybe it'll help, and hopefully I'll feel a little better about myself.

My thanks to Jason and all, for every time I've found a resource I was seeking mirrored and preserved, for my use and for posterity.

I'll add that a lot of "older" pages seem to -- still -- be more useful than many newer ones. The archive isn't just about maintaining some record "for posterity". It proves useful in current circumstances, daily.

And... No one should be able to make our history "go away."

mark_l_watson 1 day ago 1 reply      
Internet Archive is great, both for the fun of having frequent copies of my web site going back almost 20 years, and it is important for preserving digital history.

Fortunately storage and bandwidth costs will keep decreasing so more replicas can be built over time. I just made a contribution.

BTW, I was in their building in SF in June for the Decentralized Web conference - a fantastic location, and I recommend that you visit.

int_19h 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Canada seems a weird choice for this sort of thing, if freedom of speech is a worry, given stuff like this:


jmuguy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've donated, and bought some stickers. You guys should get some cooler swag :)
SnowingXIV 1 day ago 3 replies      
What do you do about things you "don't" want backed up? Say old portfolio or social media sites tied to your name? If you can wayback any site doesn't this present some issues to sanitizing your online footprint?
astrostl 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I almost never use this service, but I'm happy to throw $5/month at it.
pgl 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is it important to keep it "Reader Private" (as in the article title? What does that actually mean?
intopieces 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't have a lot of money to give (the holidays are expensive), is there a way to make a continuing contribution monthly? Is there a way I can volunteer my time? I live in the bay area.
aq3cn 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there Internet Archive of YouTube?
agumonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
I prefer to donate to them rather than wikipedia these days.
qwertyuiop924 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Archive is absolutely a worthy cause. Most people know the WayBack machine (although I wonder how many know where the name comes from), but that's not all the Archive's got. Music, Audio, Video, so much incredible content.

And that's not to mention their software library. Sketch (Jason Scott) seems to be the driving force behind it. As much as it's backed by ugly hacks (emulators compiled to JS. Yuck) it's pretty magical to be able to boot up, say, Fantasy World Dizzy in a web browser, and just play it, no install required.

icantdrive55 1 day ago 2 replies      
They want to preserve the data.

How about this:

1. Prgram an app that you asks the user if archive.org could store, say 1 gig of encrypted data on your hard drive? It wouldn't be mandatory, but you could help if desired. It would just sit on your hard drive. That gig of data would be changing on a regular basis. (Big data centers could offer to take in data. Hell, they could have another tax right off at the end of the year.)

2. After all the data has been distributed around the world; the data transfer would start over again, but on different computers. In a short amount of time you might have millions of computers with part of The Internet Archive sitting idle on users hard drives. The end result is the users would be worker bees; waiting for the queen to call them home. (In the end, you might have 1000 computers with the same block of data on their hard drive. Why because computers don't last forever.)

3. If we had a catastrophe, once the new Internet Archive was repaired/restored; the data lying dormant on millions of hard drives would come home to papa in a orderly manner.

4. It would remind people of the importance of preserving history. It would bring more attention to The Internet Archive. It would bring in a sence of team. Why not try it until this 592c3 gets their donations?

5. Yes--this is off the top of my head. I would need to put more thought into it.

slaveofallah93 1 day ago 3 replies      
I agree with the idea of what archive.org claims to be doing but it doesn't seem right the way that they are going about it.

The exclusion specifically of any ISIS supporting articles and videos makes it seem that archive.org is not truly interested in creating an archive for future generations but is instead interested in creating an archive which supports their political/religious beliefs.

Cataloging and archiving Islamic State videos doesn't mean that one endorses their beliefs or supports the organization.

It's a shame that what could've been an organization for good has become a islamaphobic political organization.

War Is a Racket by General Smedley D. Butler (1933) wanttoknow.info
298 points by betolink  23 hours ago   145 comments top 22
vachi 21 hours ago 4 replies      
Must read. Was told to read it by a former Army pilot. Been telling everyone to read it since.

Reading the comments below, I come to understand that many are missing the point of the essay, or speech as it was intended originally.

For modern readers, Butler's words are not to be taken directly but in context. Butler's point is that war is a racket. That is it. Funny right. If you are to ignore all the details about the casualties and who said what and who did what, you are still left with the essence of the speech. War is a racket. Repeat after me :) If you instill the mindset that war is a racket then all the pieces fall into place. It becomes very clear that war has no regard for human life. That it is detached from reality of life and death.

"Eliot A. Cohen, an official in the George W. Bush administration who is now a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, said that Mr. Obamas trips to Walter Reed may have been the reason, and that future presidents should avoid such visits.

A president has to be psychologically prepared to send people into harms way and to get a good nights sleep, Mr. Cohen said. And anything they do that might cripple them that way means theyre not doing their job." -- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/us/politics/obama-walter-r...

"theyre not doing their job" --- their job being what?

Be smart, war is a racket, and suggesting a president should not be worried about the lives of the people he harms is fucked up. Additionally, presidents should visit hospitals in Syria maybe. Maybe then they will not make the same actions.

doug1001 23 hours ago 4 replies      
this is extraordinary

i say this for several reasons. One, Smedley D Butler is one of perhaps just three former US Marines universally regarded as demi-gods (the other two are Sgt. Dan Daly and Gen. Chesty Puller). Their official photographs are everywhere, and statement alleged to have been made by them are quoted like scripture among active duty marines. Gen Butler aside from attaining the rank of major general, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor--twice. (Sgt. Daly, my personal hero, had two as well and a Navy Cross, the second-highest award in the USMC, equivalent to the Army's DSC; Chesty had no MoH, just five Navy Crosses, which is still pretty good).

So here he is at the end of his superb 33-year career, writing a book in which he declares that war is a Racket. And by "Racket" he is clearly using the term in the precise sense: "[a] service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist."--in other words, what organized crime does.

> "Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints."

from the OP (a except from the Book, which in turn was based on a speech given by Butler two years prior): "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers."

Needless to say, i never heard about this book while serving in the USMC as a Sergeant.

second, this book was published in 1935--Gen Butler's indictment pre-dates not just the Vietnam War but WW II.

dexwiz 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Related is President (and 5 Star General) Eisenhower's speech warning against the military industrial complex in his Farewell Address. [1]

> In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

This speech is cited as the first use of the term "military-industrial complex".


wz1000 21 hours ago 3 replies      
One of the reasons why I'm optimistic for a Donald Trump presidency is that finally Americas ugly policies have an ugly face to go with them. Every single one of Americas Presidents, from Obama to Reagan, JFK to both Bushes all maintained a veneer of respectability and decency. All of them cultivated a diplomatic and "statemanlike" appearance, all while continuing absolutely barbaric foreign policies designed to maintain American hegemony and appease industrial interests, no matter what the cost. Trump, on the other hand, refuses to play by this charade and indeed "tells it like it is".

American foreign policy can hardly become more profit-centered and evil than it has been post WWII, but I predict we will see a resurgence of voices critical towards it in the coming years because Trump places no effort in hiding behind pretty words and a wall of PR. The ugliness of American actions will now be apparent for all to see.

pmoriarty 23 hours ago 7 replies      
"But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill"

I'm not sure how it was in Butler's time, but I've read that the overwhelmingmajority of casualties in modern warfare are civilians. It would seem to me thatthey are the ones who pay "the biggest part of the bill".

Not that I would deny that the people doing the mass murder can themselves becomethe victims of war. But I'd personally have more sympathy for civilians who are nottrying to murder others but are themselves murdered.

Animats 23 hours ago 2 replies      
In 1933, someone associated with the Du Pont interests tried to hire Butler to organize a coup to overthrow Roosevelt. It's never been clear how serious a plot this was, but Butler didn't go along and the plot died.[1]

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

mmaunder 22 hours ago 0 replies      
If you pay a visit to DC, there's a hill you can go to that overlooks the Pentagon. It's illuminating how many aerospace and other government contractor logos are on buildings surrounding the space. It's like a giant star shaped trough with animals of all shapes and sizes come to feed.
1024core 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm reminded of the money Halliburton made in both the Gulf Wars. And then they promptly moved their headquarters to the MiddleEast, to avoid any scrutiny.
tracker1 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Things like this are why I think we've strayed very far from presidents Truman or Eisenhower, very opposed in their time, but so much closer to what we need today than we've really had since. JFK and Reagan at least inspired the population, and I wouldn't mind seeing another similar president, but I don't think today's political climate could tolerate any of them today.

It's a shame.

e40 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This General was features in an episode of Untold History of the United States. Don't let the fact that Oliver Stone produced this deter you from watching it. I found it a very good, albeit quick, overview of history of the last 100 years. 12 episodes, on Netflix. Weirdly, the last two episodes are really the first two, so start there, the wrap back around to episode 1.
scandox 17 hours ago 2 replies      
> There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.

The problem is that you can justify almost any conflict as ultimately meeting these criteria. If you let someone else become too powerful isn't that a de facto threat to your home? If you don't defend rights abroad, don't you threaten the extinction of rights at home?

That's why we do rely on the morality of our leaders. Which seems to be ropey at best.

sspiff 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Coincidentally, I told my brother to read this last weekend.

Smedley Butler is a brilliant orator. He manages to distill social and political outrage/abuse into a language that the everyman can connect with, and without sounding like a populist communist sympathizer. He achieved the latter by often stressing the importance of individual as well as community action. He used the term "Americanism" do describe this socially engaged entrepreneur attitude.

christophilus 12 hours ago 1 reply      
"The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted." This is a great quote. Never gonna happen. But what a change that would make. If we instituted a "draft" of the financial and industrial systems, e.g. made them pay for war the way drafted soldiers pay-- without profit-- without choice-- we wouldn't go to war. The powerful and wealthy would never allow their profits to disappear into that kind of a void.
lostboys67 15 hours ago 1 reply      
What people often don't often realise that in the 20's 30's racket was a slang term for any job / profession it had yet to take on its illegal connotations
agumonkey 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Makes me really sad to read that old piece with so many things I thought myself. When will we commit to these ideas ? defense-only, profit-less, transparency ?
fsloth 18 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a graphic novel about this topic called "Addicted to war" which was pretty good:http://www.addictedtowar.com/book.html
disposablezero 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Also "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies" will churn the stomach almost as much as the stories of the rise of the Ottoman Empire by (sssh redacted religion) piles of heads or the accounts of the Armenian Genocide.
devoply 23 hours ago 0 replies      
In 3rd world countries leaders exploit their people. In developed countries leaders exploit 3rd world countries because it's not possible to exploit your own people... Too many damn rules and ways of controlling people. War in that sense is corruption. And corruption should be stopped. It's a completely unfair way of enriching yourself and your friends. Bush and Cheney being great examples. But it happens in many other cases as well. Industries that depend on war push for war. Countries like Saudi Arabia that benefit from war push for war and so on.
angersock 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the best essays on war I've ever read, and I'm glad to see it posted here.

It should be required reading in schools.

golergka 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Curious how he described protection of overseas investments and business interests as a "racket", but at the same time enjoyed living in one of the most advanced economics of the world, fuelled by strong business and trade.
farright 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Back then this makes sense, but today the Jewish lobby is as significant as the "military industrial complex". It's unfortunate that it's considered impolite to speak about the influence of Jews in US politics, unless you think this influence is a good thing. So we get deathly silence from the left on this issue.
samdung 22 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm sure USA armies have killed more people than Hitler's armies.
Amazon Worker Jumps Off Company Building After E-Mail to Staff bloomberg.com
391 points by jw2013  2 days ago   316 comments top 26
Futurebot 2 days ago 7 replies      
Tyler Cowen has written a lot about this:

"Individuals dont in fact enjoy being evaluated all the time, especially when the results are not always stellar: for most people, one piece of negative feedback outweighs five pieces of positive feedback. To the extent that measurement raises income inequality, perhaps it makes relations among the workers tenser and less friendly. Life under a meritocracy can be a little tough, unfriendly, and discouraging, especially for those whose morale is easily damaged. Privacy in this world will be harder to come by, and perhaps second chances will be more difficult to find, given the permanence of electronic data. We may end up favoring goody two-shoes personality types who were on the straight and narrow from their earliest years and disfavor those who rebelled at young ages, even if those people might end up being more creative later on."


Pervasive employee monitoring and feedback isn't costless. Some people will improve, others will get fired/quit find a new job, but there will be some who cannot take it at all. If losing a job wasn't so punishing economically and status-wise, it would take a lot of, but certainly not all, of the sting away.

rdtsc 2 days ago 4 replies      
I was interviewing for AWS, and it was a circus. Completely disorganized. However, I have to say, I enjoyed the parroting back of "the leadership principles" part. It was like being in the Soviet Union again and singing praises to the great party leaders. Very much worth wasting a day over it.

However my nephew didn't have such a fun time. He was working for one of their warehouses in Kentucky and they were ruthless to the workers like him. They had a snow storm, he got stuck in the snow and instead of being understanding they reprimanded him for it. He liked the pay but couldn't take the humiliating treatment, so he quit.

amzn-336495 2 days ago 3 replies      
Amazon tries to trap people through control by visas, and they will go so far as to relocate people overseas to Seattle. They have a fucked up system where rank and file get the darwin treatment but management gets the rewards. They will pay bonuses around $250k, $500k, $1 million to senior managers, directors, and VPs respectively to abuse the shit out of employees. The "PIP someone who is trying to get away from their abusive manager" is their oldest trick in their book.

Something needs to be done to help people financially who are looking for a way out from the abuse.

kafkaesq 2 days ago 7 replies      
The man had recently put in a request to transfer to a different department, but was placed on an employee improvement plan, a step that can lead to termination if performance isnt improved, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing company personnel matters.

PIPs are bullshit, and fundamentally degrading. Just tell people "Maybe it's your fault, maybe it's our fault - but either way, it's not working out", offer a (truly decent) severance, and move on.

(I know, I know, I know: "because laywers.")

sssilver 1 day ago 2 replies      
Following some of the discussion on this thread, I am constantly reminded of a priceless advice I got from a senior friend years ago.

When thinking about an employer, above a certain size threshold, never judge a company. Always judge a department. You don't work for a company. You work for a department. Above a certain (fairly small) size, the only thing you'll share with the employees in the other departments will be the domain name in your email. Everything else will be coincidental.

outworlder 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The man had recently put in a request to transfer to a different department, but was placed on an employee improvement plan

Having escaped from an abusive manager myself, I can imagine what this person went though. Managers that are skilled in the art are able to inflict pain without leaving much of a paper trail.

I did ask for (and got) professional help, including medication. There's only so much stress 24/7 that you are able to handle before you start to crack. Who knows what would have happened if I just tried to ride it out.

I'd have gone bananas if I had been placed in a PIP instead. This was one of the possibilities identified by my branch predictor, so I was collecting a mountain of evidence against said manager. Thankfully, it wasn't needed.

(I realize that nowhere in the article it says a manager was the issue, but corporate pattern-matching gets pretty good after a while)

u489utaa 2 days ago 12 replies      
Amazon screws employees in ways unseen in other companies. From the perspective of an engineer, this is a terrible place for people to work and grow. To list a few things:

- Equity vesting schedule is 5%, 15%, 40%, 40% over 4 years

- Relocation package is prorated for TWO years. If you leave after staying for a full year, you still need to return 50% of it.

- 401K matching only vests after working for 3 years. If you leave within 3 years, no matching for you whatsoever.

- No tuition reimbursement. Want to get a part-time masters in CS? Pay it yourself!- No catered food. No free soda. No free snacks. If you are hungry, you can eat at one of the shltty cafes.

- Obnoxious oncall routines. You are woken up 3:30am waiting for the event to be over. Why not automate things? Because replacing people is cheaper than building great software!

This is Amazon's mindset TOPDOWN. The root of the problem is that the leadership does NOT care about employees or technology. This is a retailer and a powdered Walmart, what do you expect?!

SDE 1 and SDE 2 are simply the slaves working at a sweatshop. Some of my co-workers are hired without onsite interviews. They do some video chat and they are hired at Amazon. They don't even know how to write bash scripts. Our team used to have technical program managers who can't even write a Python script. With simple things like running a command line tool, he cuts a ticket and let the engineers do it.

The managers at Amazon pocket bonuses and don't give a damn. They don't carry pagers and when they do, they just page lower level employees. The only reason people take offers at Amazon is that they can't get better packages from Facebook/Google.

* I worked at AWS for 2 years.

SuperPaintMan 2 days ago 3 replies      
>The man survived the fall from Amazons 12-story Apollo building at about 8:45 a.m. local time Monday and was taken to a Seattle hospital, police said.

Aside: That is a testament to the resilience of a body. The physics behind that fall would be astounding to analyze! I come from a long line of suicidal people we're not jumpers, but swingers.

ajkjk 1 day ago 0 replies      
As has happened before on these threads, every opinion on Amazon is super negative. To balance things out I'll chime in to say that I had a highly positive experience working there as an SDE for 3 years, and would estimate that most of my coworkers felt the same way.
madman2890 1 day ago 2 replies      
268,900. That is the number of employees amazon has. According to this article, we should expect 25.2 suicides out of these employees.
Tempest1981 2 days ago 4 replies      
Do they still have the backloaded RSU vesting schedule? Something like 5%, 15%, 40%, 40% (each year)?

Does anyone else do this?

Merovius 1 day ago 0 replies      
Press code: Don't widely report details of suicides, it creates a measurable uptick in simulative acts.

Internet: Let's get this thing to the Hackernews frontpage!

gtirloni 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very clever way to write the title and the article itself. You get the impression that 1) he is dead and after reading a bit more that 2) he survived a jump from a 12-story building.

From reading other articles, it seems he is alive and jumped from the 4th floor.

Buge 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not too long ago an Apple employee shot himself in the office.


wcummings 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Apollo building looks like an office. Guessing this person was a product person, I don't think warehouse workers get the luxury of PIPs and changing teams. They were probably one of us.

Pour one out.

msie 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was young I quit MS rather than get fired. Looking back, I wonder if I should have just walked away without an exit interview. Perhaps get several more weeks pay. I too suffered under a PIP that proved to be pointless.
andy 1 day ago 0 replies      
My thoughts are with this man. I was also put on an employee improvement plan at a company previously.
bystander876 1 day ago 0 replies      
I live nearby and was walking by when the EMT and fire department were called.

Hats off to those folks. It seemed like no time at all before they showed up and moved very quickly to help the injured man. I was really impressed.

jimmywanger 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's great how this no content article has been turned into a huge Amazon bashing thread that confirms everybody's biases against Amazon employment practices.

The facts are: a guy put in for a transfer, got put on a performance improvement plan, threatened self-harm, and then jumped off a building.

There are no details why he requested a transfer, the reasons he got put on a PIP, and if he was mentally unstable or not, where these fairly common life events would cause him to contemplate self harm.

Nope, the pitchforks and the torches come out.

khnd 2 days ago 3 replies      
wow. i wonder if bezos is going to address this.
auvi 1 day ago 0 replies      
where can I find the text of the email?
plandis 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know what the worst part of my job at Amazon is? That I continually have to read about how terrible I am both on the internet and in real life (your average Seattlite seems to hate Amazon).

Just in this thread alone I've been accused of:

* Screwing employees over* Being a slave in a sweatshop* Insulted for not being able to use Bash (I can)* Disorganized* Not be trusted to talk about working at Amazon (lol)* Fostering a toxic workplace* A communist (my favorite insult)

omouse 1 day ago 0 replies      
Toxic workplace? I think so.
zelias 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a reason the text of the email is unavailable?
pproodd 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, based on this thread, communism is the answer.
JoeAltmaier 1 day ago 2 replies      
Amazon-bashing aside, this is an example of why 'safe spaces' and 'trigger-free zones' may be a bad idea. Colleges should train students in responding to triggers; exercise their self-control regularly in the face of adversity not stunt it. Somebody jumps instead of walking away, they have priorities drastically miswired.
Theorem of the Day theoremoftheday.org
404 points by kercker  3 days ago   29 comments top 8
vanhodji 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is super interesting. I love how concisely they are able to convey a certain concept. I feel the ratio: amount of knowledge you acquire versus length of the explanation is incredibly high, which makes me want to keep opening more and more tabs. The only place where I have the same feeling is in fermatslibrary.com, although in a different way. I would like to see the same concept applied to CS.
oggy 2 days ago 0 replies      
For more random interesting theorems with outrageously clever and beautiful proofs, the "Proofs from THE BOOK" [1] book is a fantastic collection. As a curiosity, "THE BOOK" in the title comes from Erdos, who often referred to the book in which God keeps nice proofs of math theorems :)

[1]: https://www.amazon.com/Proofs-BOOK-Martin-Aigner/dp/36420085...

godelski 2 days ago 2 replies      
Would be kind of fun to get this in email. Kind of like word of the day.
brosirmandude 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is really interesting, but my heart hurts at the SEO value lost in having the main content be all PDFs. Not that there's really a NEED to have all of this crawl-able & indexable by search engines, but it could probably reach a whole lot more people if it was.
thomasahle 2 days ago 4 replies      
Am I the only one who was confused what the 'tau' referred to in http://www.theoremoftheday.org/NumberTheory/Willans/TotDWill... ?
maxiepoo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I disagree with the front page of this site, the "crowning achievements of mathematics" are not "her theorems", but our definitions.
keyle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Unrelated: when a site gets top of HN and it's made of PDF contents, I just cringe at the bandwidth usage for the next few hours...
pmiller2 3 days ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool, but the links don't work for me. I'm on Windows 10, Chrome 54.0.2840.71 64 bit.
India has launched a 648MW solar power plant venturesafrica.com
279 points by Osiris30  17 hours ago   141 comments top 13
_FKS_ 13 hours ago 6 replies      
While by no means I mean to minimize this announcement, if the press was publishing an article every time a Coal plant opens in India, we would have an article every few days or so on HN.

Just to put things into perspective:

- A plant like Topaz, California generates ~1100 GWh/year. [3]

- "India was the third top electricity producer in the world 1272 TWh in FY 20014-15" [1]

- "India was the third top coal producer in 2015 with 283.9 Mtoe (7.4% global share)." [1]

- "Nearly 80% of total electricity generated (utility and captive) in India is from coal." [1]

So we're about at 3 orders or magnitude, in terms of generated electricity, between what you currently get from coal plants and this new Tamil Nadu plant. While the penetration rate of renewables is faster than coal [2], the same thing cannot be said of generated capacity. Globally an unit of power from renewables has a far lower EROI compared to Coal [4].

So I support what kumarski said below, this is much of a hype. If India wants to be serious about climate change, they should at least stop building Coal plants.

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

[2] https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Renewables-Are-Outpacing-Coal-in-India

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topaz_Solar_Farm

[4] http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/Weissbach_EROI_preprint.pdf

mirekrusin 16 hours ago 9 replies      
Topaz, California - 580 MW - cost $2.5 billion - built in 2 years

Tamil Nadu, India - 648 MW - cost $677 mln - built in 8 months

...wait, what?

titomc 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Kerala, India -- The world's first solar airport no longer pays for electricityhttp://money.cnn.com/2016/03/14/technology/india-cochin-sola...

USA -- whaat ?

anexprogrammer 17 hours ago 3 replies      
My biggest hope on climate is India, China and Africa are soon in a position to put pressure on the West for how little we're doing.

As prices continue to drop there'll be less and less incentive for them to continue installing polluting power.

pvsukale3 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is the documentary on this project made by National Geographic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-0lrIxCnE
gkafkg8y8 16 hours ago 1 reply      
> By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by harnessing 100 gigawatts of solar energy.

That could power 82 Doc Brown DeLorean time machines[1].

In comparison, the 2013 estimate for world energy consumption was 12.3 terawatts[2], which would power 10165 Doc Brown DeLorean time machines.

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

[2]: http://www.webcitation.org/6fzEHL2Bz

ccozan 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Can anyone compute the ecological footprint of this power plant?

Just curious how much raw material( water, etc, even waste ) went into building all that panels and the auxiliar stuff.

mpg33 16 hours ago 5 replies      
Still feel adding solar to rooftops is better - just in terms of space utilized - than these giant solar farms..
TekMol 14 hours ago 2 replies      
If we would collect all energy that get's to planet earth via light, how much of the total energy available to us would that be? Compared to say converting all mass of earth into energy somehow.

According to Wolfram Alpha, 1kg of mass contains about 10^17 joule. Let's see how much Kg earth has... about 10^25. So earth contains about 10^42 Joule?

According to a quick googling around, the sunlight that reaches us contains about 10^20 Joules per day.

So hey, if we burn up everything we can outdo the sun for 10^19 years!

maverick_iceman 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure devoting 10 sq km for a 648 MW plant is the most efficient use of land. A nuclear or coal fired plant of similar or even larger capacity will take up much less space. This is especially problematic as India and especially the state of Tamil Nadu is one of the densest places on earth.
Element_ 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This article gives some images that show the scale: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/india-unveils-world-la...
yummyfajitas 15 hours ago 3 replies      
kumarski 14 hours ago 2 replies      
A lot of news coming out of India is hype.

I promise you that at night we burn 50% ash - lignite coal to compensate for downticks in solar and upticks in consumption.

For the next few years we'll be opening a new coal plant each month.

To give you an idea of how far we are behind as an energy grid.

The US & China each Produce about 4000 Terawatt Hours Per a Year.

India is somewhere in the ~1500 Terawatt hours per a year.

To make up the difference we're going to burn a ton of coal, the worst kind of coal.

Cyclotron: A web application for constructing dashboards cyclotron.io
343 points by severine  1 day ago   111 comments top 27
agentgt 1 day ago 5 replies      
I would like to share some thoughts on this based on experience of being a crusty old enterprise developer. The dashboard problem keeps coming back. I think the time might be finally coming for some dashboard framework to actually succeed.

A dashboard framework has been tried many many times. Here are some old ones just on the top of my head:

* Shindig aka OpenSocial aka Google Gadgets

* J2EE portlets

* OpenUSS

I'm not sure why Shindig aka Google Gadgets failed but one of the complaint we had on a product that I helped build that used Shindig is that business users did not want the complexity of customizing a dashboard. That is hard coded panels were good enough.

I guess just like many tech stuff (slack/irc, wiki) the timing and execution just wasn't right. I think now that might change given the plethora of devops, data driven biz, and generally improvement in tech awareness.

It would be nice if Cyclotron had some sort of spec (particularly language agnostic) but I guess that failed hard for the above.

For my own small company we use Kibana (the old one that doesn't require NodeJS), Grafana, and Jenkins.

Yes we use Jenkins as a dashboard. Jenkins is actually shockingly a good place for a dashboard because every time we build/deploy or kick off some kind of job we see the current status of stuff. I'm not sure why cloudbees hasn't taken advantage of this. I honestly think it is the best place to put devopsy like dashboards.

The other nice thing about Jenkins besides it actually kicking things off is the notification. IMO notification is almost more important and more useful than dashboards. The two should be not be far apart but for some reason in most systems they are.

wrkronmiller 1 day ago 6 replies      
How does this compare to something like Grafana? https://github.com/grafana/grafana
rmanalan 1 day ago 2 replies      
orenbarzilai 1 day ago 2 replies      
There is also Redash http://docs.redash.io/en/latest/We are using it and it's awesome.
StavrosK 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why MongoDB for what is pretty much a front-end :( What's wrong with SQLite?
tlrobinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I work on Metabase.

Another open source option: Metabase http://www.metabase.com/

We support most SQL databases and a bunch of others, plus upcoming support for Google Analytics.

mrkmcknz 1 day ago 7 replies      
There seems to be a plethora of these open source dashboard builder systems.

I just want to pay for a hosted version that isn't going to be $1k monthly and require me to build "plugins" to do something that is akin to an API call.

kfk 11 hours ago 1 reply      
On a side note, any site like HN for data systems, BI, dashboards?

Edit. To be clear I mean forums where business intelligence, data science, dashboard folks hang out. I work with Tableau and they have a big community, I am looking for sites less tableau centric...

hackcrafter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like a hosted equivalent of GeckoBoard[0], which I have used successfully for uptime and key metric boards that are displayed in common room dedicated TV screens etc.

One key is getting decent render performance on low-spec hardware (i.e. a Rasberry Pi). Not something you usually think about when building/evaluating a web app, but those low-spec "boxes" crawl on most modern web-sites.

Yet there shouldn't be any reason why a dashboard couldn't be rendered on them!

I wonder how Cyclotron performs with it's JS heavy front-end on those types of dedicated dashboard devices?

[0] https://www.geckoboard.com/

ape4 1 day ago 1 reply      
Forgive my ignorance... what makes a dashboard different that a regular webapp?
jenhsun 1 day ago 0 replies      
dnprock 1 day ago 0 replies      
This scared me a little bit. We've been doing a similar product https://vida.io. I think we've got a lot further with many components and dashboards, see https://vida.io/explore. At the same time, I'm pretty excited to see someone has similar vision about custom data visualizations.
fiatjaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is also https://mondash.org/, which is has a clever API that may be very useful in some cases.
wiremine 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice! Some quick feedback:

* I'd default to the "light" theme, especially if you're presenting it against dark background. It will highlight the content better.* You could use some whitespace between the widget titles and the content. The text is sliding into the graphs. * Might be nice to use more than two colors for the graph content, or at least make one of them different from black, which is also the color used used for the tables and titles.

zorbash 1 day ago 0 replies      
To be honest I don't understand why should a dashboard framework need MongoDBto display widgets from external sources.

[shameless plug] We're also building an open-source dashboards framework https://github.com/kittoframework/kitto

Redsquare 1 day ago 0 replies      
mrcactu5 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like how you can change the Cascading Style Sheets pretty much on the click of a button. I am a bit behind the time, but I do remember Square's Cube to be good for time-series.


Those can be embedded into dashboards

_ao789 1 day ago 0 replies      
How is this different from potential alternatives like Geckoboard, Ducksboard and all those? Is it essentially not just another one?
mxuribe 1 day ago 1 reply      
This seems pretty cool. Though running it as an intrAnet app is unexpected.
SEJeff 1 day ago 0 replies      
It requires mongodb to run, eeeewwww: http://www.cyclotron.io/faq.html#without-mongodb

Not something I'd trust as a primary datastore.

smrtinsert 1 day ago 0 replies      
what about openmct. iirc it was a complete dashboarding tool.
ndubuka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice product
ndubuka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for project
omouse 1 day ago 7 replies      
I never understand why people choose MIT when they create something valuable and don't go for AGPL or GPL.

Looks good though :D

ambrop7 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find the name slightly disrespective of people who develop and work with actual cyclotrons (particle accelerators). How is their application related to cyclotrons?
nkg 1 day ago 2 replies      
That name may have a negative ring, as a cyclotron is also a cancer imaging device :


Stallmans Law gnu.org
304 points by BuuQu9hu  3 days ago   143 comments top 17
stcredzero 3 days ago 15 replies      
Here's the thing about Richard Stallman -- he's absolutely correct in all of his principles and all of his underlying thinking. He's as intellectually farsighted as anyone I can think of in tech. However, all of the movement around him and the resulting "outreach" efforts have been rather shortsighted in comparison.

Let's use environmentalism as an analogy. There is a place for an absolutist intellectual position, when it comes to the underlying science. However, much of the tremendous progress that has been made with respect to the global environment has been a tenacious "foot in the door, while they're slamming it" struggle, where allies and politics are vital. This is why I found the FSF animosity towards "Open Source" perplexing. If a group is advocating for freedom, I find it perplexing when they seem to be coercing me to be free in exactly the way they deem correct. While leadership is vital in any movement (I think that leaderless movements generally fall off the rails and tend to spawn extremist groups) one of the primary reasons leadership is vital is to set the tone and morality of the movement. A firm philosophical and intellectual grounding is also vital, but it can't stand alone if the tone and morality of the movement allows it to succumb to any human group's natural tendency towards jingoism. RMS always got the intellectual far-seeing right. In terms of tone and politics: fairly close to dead wrong. Basically, he could impress college aged me, then alienate working aged me.

makecheck 3 days ago 5 replies      
Corporations need to be treated as if they could have radically different managers at any moment (because they can). The Best Company Ever of today could be bought by Worst Corporation In Existence tomorrow.

It essentially doesnt matter what a company is currently doing or promises to do or not do, if those behaviors are not legally binding. And even then, if you have to read a hundred-page document to figure out what the legal binding is, assume that the company has carefully placed a nice escape hatch somewhere in their legalese.

It was supposed to be true that if one vendor does something you dont like, you simply vote with your wallet and go to one that you do like. That works great when buying toasters. Yet now, with essentially your whole life tied up in one or two devices and key services like Internet being dictated by one company based on where you live, it is REALLY hard to just walk away from one crappy technology experience and find something you like better. This is a real sign that it is not a good idea to have so much technology powered by so few corporations.

roflchoppa 3 days ago 5 replies      
Interesting that the more "advance" technology gets, the lower our reasonable expectation of privacy becomes.

I want to know when the average person gets on a computer, and surfs around, what data do they expect is kept for just themselves vs shared with the service.

oelmekki 3 days ago 2 replies      
And yet, today's big opensource projects often are driven by big corps.

I wonder how rms would reconciliate that. Maybe we can get there the difference between opensource and freesoftwares?

In any way, having big companies publishing opensource code tell us how past we are the time when every single company will just publish proprietary software and let you guess the specs.

cocktailpeanuts 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have no idea when this "law" was written or said, but I think this type of thinking--in 2016--is exactly the cause of what it's prophesizing.

Instead of thinking from "corporations vs. us", a better approach would be to think of humanity as a single entity.

I do understand that all this "open software" movement could have an impact because it was very polarizing and moved a lot of people. But in a world where open source is the norm, it should not be about fighting against corporations. The discussion should be on a higher level.

For example, you should think deeper about why it looks like: "While corporations dominate society and write the laws, each advance or change in technology is an opening for them to further restrict or mistreat its users".

Only when you look deeper into the corporation's motivations you'll be able to figure out a way to defeat this. Otherwise it just reads like a rant.

api 3 days ago 0 replies      
The opposite happened when mainframes and minis transitioned to PCs, but he's right from the 2000s onward.

Something changed, and I'm not 100% sure what. Tech is reflecting the larger political trends of the world where strong man rule and other forms of authoritarianism are ascendant.

I do think the driver is democratic to an extent. People seem to be demanding less freedom in exchange for convenience, security, simplicity, etc... in tech and in life.

gaur 3 days ago 3 replies      
No, you can't just take a statement and call it a "law", even in a facetious sense.

Murphy's law, Betteridge's law, or other facetious laws are at least roughly formulated as "if X, then Y" (or sometimes "Y happens"), which mimics the structure of actual scientific laws. Stallman's statement is formulated as "if X, then maybe Y" (or "Y could happen").

agumonkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish Stallman got back to its printer roots. Hardware is where the battle is. Good enough GPU / DSP / NIC and the rest is set. Sane not too hard to write drivers that works fine under open source OSes, enjoy prolongated lifetime for your devices and more interesting uses.
known 2 days ago 1 reply      
Essential Rules of Tyranny

Rule #1: Keep Them Afraid

Rule #2: Keep Them Isolated

Rule #3: Keep Them Desperate

Rule #4: Send Out The Jackboots

Rule #5: Blame Everything On The Truth Seekers

Rule #6: Encourage Citizen Spies

Rule #7: Make Them Accept The Unacceptable


known 2 days ago 1 reply      
The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. --Chomsky
necessity 3 days ago 2 replies      
`s/corporations/government` and this is still true
kome 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had to use an iPad for the first time in my life recently, and I have to say that Stallman is right.
atemerev 3 days ago 2 replies      
s/corporations/governments/. Or at least "corporations and governments".
greyman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I worked for a corporation for 12 years, and I was in a team developing software for CT scanner operations. What's wrong with that? Then I also worked for a very small company, where I coded... games. So according to the RMS, that could be morally less wrong. :-)
phn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don' disagree with the law itself.

However, each technological advance is also an opportunity to break free from restrictions and mistreatment from the previous status quo.

icomefromreddit 2 days ago 0 replies      
vonklaus 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is tangential, but isn't http://www.root-servers.org/ still the authoritative source for DNS. I was browsing DNS options (switched to open-DNS) but the main http://www.root-servers.org/ site is down. It appears to be cached as recently as this month with a map, but is not responsive. A few other "detector" sites have it down. Is this important, or does it not show up because it is a resolver?
Fallout 1.5: Resurrection resurrection.cz
296 points by kbart  1 day ago   144 comments top 12
eponeponepon 1 day ago 6 replies      
The first two games came out at the worst time for me - A-levels precluded me from spending any time at all with them (that's probably for the best, though - a few years later, Morrowind and the absence of parental oversight killed my degree stone dead :) ).

Fallout 3, NV and 4 have all in turn nudged me to try the originals again, but they're just old-fashioned enough that I struggle to get into them, every time. These days I think I've resigned myself to only getting to play them properly in the event of a long stay in hospital.

KON_Air 1 day ago 2 replies      
I love how they decided to embrace the fact it is a "fan work" and diverge from established 1&2 canon when the story calls for it (ya know unlike a certain company who has the rights to the name and think cramming references to older games will make Oblivion with guns a Fallout game). Not to mention the passion and work to make such a thorough game/mod with a two decade old engine.
IgorPartola 1 day ago 3 replies      
I really wish I could have Fallout 1 & 2 for iOS. Turn based point and click games seem like a perfect candidate for a touch interface. Instead we have crap like the Doom clones which are horribly difficult to play and don't really provide the authentic feel of those games.
kbart 1 day ago 1 reply      
If somebody here had played it, I'd love to hear opinions before risking to lose few weeks of my life as it was with the original game.
FullMtlAlcoholc 1 day ago 1 reply      
After watching my current obsession, this post makes me want to make a Fallout 4 mod:

Fallout: Westworld

newswriter99 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried playing the first one a year ago but with the turn-based system and fast-travel being what it is, progress is slow. Which wouldn't be bad when you want to spend your Sunday afternoon in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but this is not a game for someone who has a 9-to-5.
LeonM 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh god no, I already lost so much time this year with Outcast 1.1 and Black Mesa (Half life 1 remake).

Please don't let this be good! ;-)

SXX 1 day ago 0 replies      
For anyone who want to get a bit more inside on original games development might want to check this "Fallout Classic Revisited" talk from Timothy Cain:


MrBra 1 day ago 1 reply      
For someone who never played Fallout, what do you recommend playing first?

I've also read about "Restoration Project" mods and I am bit confused.

gravypod 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wish someone could port 1 and 2 into a good first person experience. Would really make it accessible to many more people born after that time.
Hydraulix989 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hope it doesn't get a Cease and Desist.
How to Master an Accent nytimes.com
267 points by Thevet  1 day ago   94 comments top 13
GuiA 21 hours ago 7 replies      
Since many comments in this thread converge towards language pronunciation:

When people are learning how to draw, they typically have to learn how to "unsee". To quote Betty Edwards:

students beginning in art generally do not really see what is in front of their eyes that is, they do not perceive in the way required for drawing. They take note of what's there, and quickly translate the perception into words and symbols mainly based on the symbol system developed throughout childhood and on what they know about the perceived object.

Learning how to pronounce sounds in a new language is the same. A lot of people will pronounce foreign words with how their brain thinks it should sound, using their native language as a baseline. The trick is to try to get rid of any phonetic preconception you might have, and pronounce sounds as you hear them from native speakers. It takes practice, but it's a learnable skill.

(Which is why romanization of Asian languages, for instance, is a trap for new learners: if you're learning Japanese, the latin alphabet should have no place whatsoever in your learning. It's a tempting, but false path)

For drawing like for speaking, kids are naturally good at this. (except while language acquisition happens naturally for kids, deliberate drawing practice rarely does)

bkgunby 16 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who learned to speak fluently in a different language, I believe the trick is to study the IPA of both your native language and the one you want to learn. This is especially true if you come from a language like English which isn't a phonetic language.

It sets a common ground for you to work with. There may be some vowels that may be undistinguishable for both native speakers. However, you'll likely to come across some that requires a developed ear to differentiate the two. This is the reason why you probably have an accent. Focus on tongue placement, emphasis, change in pitch, etc.

Of course, this won't help much to actually speak in a different language, but for accents I found this method incredibly helpful. It's the micro side of things that most people overlook.

wallflower 22 hours ago 7 replies      
On the subject of accents, in case you missed her viral video the first-time around, the absolutely astounding Saara from Finland.

"What Languages Sound Like To Foreigners"https://youtu.be/ybcvlxivscw

mysterypie 23 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to also see her while she does the accents, this TED talk is great:


xiaoma 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I always loved Robert Greene's story of when he was young and living in France he got hired at a hotel while he was pretending to be Irish. He talked about it in an interview that got a little into how much of a method acting exercise it became. He actually took the job and got sucked into an alternate identity for years!


laurieg 22 hours ago 5 replies      
Does anyone have any advice on how to hear the distinction in sounds that aren't in your native language? For example an English speaker learning Chinese tones or a Japanese speaker learning L and R differences. It seems like this is a huge wall to learning accents.
Singletoned 19 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a bit weird for an interview titled "How to Master an Accent" to start with the quote:

> For me its not an accent. I know people who do brilliant accents. But I dont know how to do that.

sethammons 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I love accents and flavors of speech. A couple of thing I noticed when I was a bit younger. In California, words that end with "-ty" are pronounced "-dy." Eternity -> Eternidy. Also, In Southern California at least, you measure distance in time. "How far away is the store?", "about five minutes."
mrkgnao 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> a doctor who uses homeopathic medicines, massage techniques and energy work

I wonder if there are any people who market homeopathy targeted at vocal training. How would that even work (I mean, in terms of similia similibus curentur or whatever)?

oxplot 6 hours ago 0 replies      
* Listen to a lot of radio/movies/shows

* Record own voice speaking passages of above material

* Play back, compare, adjust and repeat

Do above for countless hours

Rzor 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. This is really hard. I like to play a Russian accent for fun and would like to improve it, but I guess I'll stay with YouTube channels to do that.
dominotw 14 hours ago 0 replies      
the window of mastering an accent closes once you hit your late teens. After that your brain cannot hear the correct pronunciation and merely maps it to closest sounding sound in you mental library. Once you can't hear it, you can't speak it. It is much easier and useful to learn the "flow" of the language than trying to make new sounds .

People always use colin Farrell as an example of adults who mastered an accent but forget that his native language is phonetically close to the language he is supposedly mastering.

tatotato 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Error 503 Backend is unhealthy

Funniest one I've seen in a while.

Neutralize ME Firmware on SandyBridge and IvyBridge Platforms hardenedlinux.org
332 points by madars  2 days ago   71 comments top 12
sounds 2 days ago 3 replies      
This appears to be a legitimate ME neutralization.

The ME is purportedly placed in "recovery" mode:

 According to Nicola Corna, the current ME state should have been changed from normal to recovery.
Since the MEI interface is disabled (not visible from a PCI bus scan), there is no way to activate the ME at runtime, even after a full system compromise. It would still be possible to rewrite the BIOS flash chip with a new ME image, but the system would need to be restarted before the ME would read the changes.

I don't speak for the FSF, but it sounds like this is as close to an FSF RYF certification as any Intel CPU is going to get. FSF approval of a device requires that all user-modifiable software be Free Software. Previously, no recent Intel CPUs could be FSF certified as "RYF" because the ME chip would shut the system down after 30 minutes. (Side note: no recent Intel CPUs can be considered "stable" without microcode updates which also violate the FSF's RYF guidelines.)

[1] http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/respects-your-fr...

twr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I succeeded at doing this to an old Asus Z68 motherboard. Steps:

 flashrom -p internal -r bios.rom ifdtool -x bios.rom python3 me_cleaner.py flashregion_2_intel_me.bin python2 dump_me.py flashregion_2_intel_me.bin -x python2 me_sigcheck.py FTPR_part.bin ifdtool -i ME:flashregion_2_intel_me.bin bios.rom exit # Skip this line if you're okay with bricking your motherboard. flashrom -p internal -w bios.rom.new
`lspci | grep -i mei` and `lsmod | grep mei` are now empty.


 ME: FW Partition Table : OK ME: Bringup Loader Failure : NO ME: Firmware Init Complete : NO ME: Manufacturing Mode : NO ME: Boot Options Present : NO ME: Update In Progress : NO ME: Current Working State : Initializing ME: Current Operation State : Bring up ME: Current Operation Mode : Normal ME: Error Code : Debug Failure ME: Progress Phase : BUP Phase ME: Power Management Event : Pseudo-global reset ME: Progress Phase State : 0x3b ... ME has a broken implementation on your board with this BIOS ME: failed to become ready
It took a hard reset to re-enable integrated ethernet.


kevin_b_er 2 days ago 1 reply      
rootkit is defined by google search as "a set of software tools that enable an unauthorized user to gain control of a computer system without being detected."

* A set of software tools: Check

* Unauthorized user: Check Caveat: user is not authorized by you, but by someone else (Intel)

* Gain control of a computer system without being detected. Can access your machine while it appears to be "powered off" but plugged in. Has full access to RAM. Can draw undetected on top of screen. Can read screen. Check.

So. Does this qualify the Management Engine as a rootkit? It meets the definition. Just because the rootkit is installed by the manufacturer doesn't make it less of one.

snvzz 2 days ago 4 replies      
The ridiculous shit that needs to be done just to rid of some blob.

RISC-V can't take the market over fast enough.

phantom_oracle 2 days ago 2 replies      
Has Intel ever commented about this issue of removing ME?

Surely, at least 1 Intel staffer reads HN and they must have discussed this internally.

Unless they just brush this off as negligible (a couple thousand paranoid/"extremist" users) ?

WhitneyLand 2 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful work. Standing offer to buy dinner for any of the contributors if they come through Dallas.
bsharitt 2 days ago 2 replies      
As a potential backdoor with access to a computer with compromising the OS, how much is ME neutralized by just not using the integrated NIC and instead using a PCI-E or USB NIC?
gwu78 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like the BBB is more versatile than the x220. Not to mention it has no ME.

+1 for the use of ifdtool.

Puts 2 days ago 1 reply      
What happened to VIA and their x86 CPUs and mini-itx platform people used to build media PCs on? Wouldn't that be a viable option if you really want to avoid ME?
spikengineer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any research on how to disable AMD PSP.
tedunangst 2 days ago 2 replies      
What if I like using the integrated NIC?
yuhong 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the most important lesson is that the arms race against laptop theft is ridiculous.
How Elizabeth Warren Took Down the CEO of Wells Fargo, and Why It Matters asktrim.com
249 points by xenophon  2 days ago   156 comments top 20
tswartz 2 days ago 4 replies      
I appreciate that Warren didn't let Stumpf talk his way out of taking any responsibility for the actions of his employees and made a clear argument as to why he should be held accountable. Unfortunately, it seems the primary reason he resigned was because the public outrage was loud enough. It seems that until CEOs are personally held accountable via fines or prison (as Warren suggests) we won't see a very big change in their actions. He benefited personally from the policy he implemented, but ignored the negative consequences. The bank is fined, but he is not and keeps his bonuses.
adekok 2 days ago 8 replies      
What do the libertarians say about this theft? While I understand the idea of the free market, I don't see how that would have protected the consumer in this case. The CEO has millions of times the power of the average consumer, and can harness thousands of people to his agenda.

The consumer is left to either (a) pay the "idiot" tax of being stupid enough to sign up for a thieving bank, or (b) rely on the government to protect his best interests.

While I have severe misgivings about the efficiency and corruption of large government, I find it hard to argue that a perfect "free market" would be better for the consumer.

wheelerwj 2 days ago 3 replies      
Look I love Elizabeth Warren but this whole article is really over the top.

> leaders of financial institutions are painfully aware that there are consequences

They were fined lousy 280m and the CEO was allowed to resign a full 3 years after it was first reported. Really, REEAAALLLY painful stuff there.

Evolved 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's not overlook the fact that not only did the whistleblowers' concerns not get addressed[0], they were also subsequently fired for <bullshit reasons> trumped up charges, AND their U-5[1][2][3][4] was also marked as well, which makes it much harder to get another job in banking as banking organizations have access to this universal employee report card as it is colloquially referred to.






prions 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can we remove:

-"Why x matters"-"What we know"-"Slammed" and-"Number x will shock you!"

from all news headlines?

MarkMc 2 days ago 1 reply      
In pushing for jail time for this particular CEO, Elizabeth Warren is barking up the wrong tree. Stumpf made mistakes in setting incentives and monitoring staff culture, but there is no evidence he committed fraud. The bank overcharged customers $2 million dollars and paid a $185 million settlement. That seems reasonable to me.

More worryingly, the bank also seems to have harassed and blacklisted whistleblower employees. No doubt it will have to pay a hefty settlement and class-action lawsuits, but again the CEO is guilty only failing to monitor bank culture. There was nothing malicious or criminal in his actions.

The number of fake accounts created by the bank - 1.5 million! - is irrelevant. I run a business and can create a billion customer accounts in seconds without harm to anyone else. What matters is how much damage the bank did to others - in this case the bank has already paid a fine proportional to that damage.

Instead of going after a hapless CEO and a company that has already paid a huge settlement for a relatively small error, Elizabeth Warren should focus her attention on banks which overinflated the value of their mortgages before selling them on to other banks or Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In such cases we're talking a fraud involving billions of dollars, that led to worldwide financial recession, and where perhaps the CEO had direct knowledge of the fraud.

[Disclosure: I own shares in Wells Fargo]

rememberlenny 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the same vein, Sheila Bair is an amazing human being. She was chair of the FDIC during the TARP funding and bank bailouts. She wrote a captivating book on the battle against the corruption of banks and the difficulties in policing issues with government funding.

Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Bull-Horns-Fighting-Street-Itself/dp/...

zodiac 2 days ago 2 replies      
I watched Stumpf testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee, and while I agree that (from what I saw) he should be held accountable, what I don't understand is why the right venue for it is the Senate instead of the Judiciary.

Warren clearly thinks that Stumpf wasn't just doing a bad job, but that what he did and didn't do was criminal in some way (eg the talk of jail time, comparisons to Enron in the article). The CFPB settlement also indicates that there was wrongdoing, at least on the part of Wells Fargo the corporation.

Isn't the right thing to do to prosecute Stumpf in court? The testimony seemed to me to have no purpose other than to put Stumpf "on trial", and it led to damaged PR and his resignation, but it looked like a "trial" without due process protections like knowing what exact charges he was facing. Another missing protection I was particularly disturbed by was how often she would cut him off and not allow him to defend himself (yes, his answers were clearly evasive, but it still isn't fair to do that).

vonklaus 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is good. Articles like this however always seem to recall the subprime mortgage crisis, when "too big to fail" sheltered CEOs and banks from much fallout.

I would like to express to Sen Warren, and others, that a more fragmented & transparent financial system is important-- but much less than the broadband & tech sector.

Google has 1.6B[0] users of a total of 3.8[1] internet users.

too big to fail is 42% of the world using "core" services from one institution.

The data is hard to find and I am on mobile but the consolidation of global broadband & wireless provideres attempted or closed between 2015-2016 was nearly 1 Trillion. A rollup of unprecedented levels.

[0]http://m.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=+total+active+users+googl...* While this is Alexa's visits total, subsets of Google's 10-k (which doesnt break this out because they are facing heavy competition) adjust to uniques. If someone finds better data, I will adjust, but this seems to be the accepted active user base of google.


ShellCasing 2 days ago 0 replies      
What we need is a federal licensing agency for bankers that is similar to the state-by-state licensing agencies for lawyers. That way, when a banker gets caught violating ethical obligations (e.g., defrauding people) he can be disbarred from ever working in finance ever again. Proving an ethical violation is much easier than proving a criminal act.
guelo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I doubt the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will survive the upcoming Trump/Republican attack on federal regulatory agencies.
quantumfoam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Big whoop. No jail time served. Stumpf stepped down and the criminal enterprise (that remains till this day) was charged with millions that when compared to their profits (in the billions) range, what really was accomplished? The worst thing that happened here was he lost his job but kept a nice severance package and took a vacation. Talk about justice.
Timshel 1 day ago 0 replies      
throwayawnotime 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take Down? WTF he still has all of his many millions and is not in jail.
orsenthil 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can she and other senators question and bring down Trump if he does something illegal?
nxbtch 2 days ago 0 replies      
great capitalism, great democracy
known 1 day ago 1 reply      
VW CEO didn't resign;
pcunite 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be good if Elizabeth Warren would look into the Clinton Foundation. Make sure things are up to snuff, so to speak.
themark 2 days ago 0 replies      
Im too lazy to look, but I'm pretty sure this same thing was reported many times before.
stanfordkid 2 days ago 5 replies      
I absolutely love Senator Warren. That being said, the notion that the stock price of Wells Fargo could be significantly impacted by this scheme (which is central to Ms. Warren's argument) is not well founded.

Wells Fargo makes 86 billion in revenue per year. Even if 10 million accounts were made and each made a thousand dollars -- (incredibly generous) ... over the course of 5 years this accounts for 1 billion in revenue or 200 million dollars per year. Annualized it is much less than 1% and would not inflate the stock price.

These guys definitely made a mistake. It wasn't calculated fraud. It was bad incentive setting. Politicians like Warren don't intuitively understand how hard it is to actually control a group of thousands of middle-class workers and get them to do things.It is not easy to govern ... sadly politicians are the least knowledgable in what it takes and they hurt good people like Stumpf (I trust his leadership and qualities because he was appointed by Buffett).

WF stock dropped a bit prior to the hearing and I bought as much as I could. Luckily most of Wall Street is smarter than such politicians and it paid off. Thanks Senator Warren.

What I would like to see is politicians be held to the same accountability as these guys. That would be hilarious. I wonder how well Obamacare would do if we could actually measure results based on metrics.

Our society needs people that can blend business acumen with the spirit and heart of people like Elizabeth Warren. Only Buffet or Gates come to mind.

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