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1
Show HN: Alacritty, a GPU-accelerated terminal emulator written in Rust jwilm.io
1118 points by jwilm  2 days ago   447 comments top 63
1
brandur 2 days ago 6 replies      
I just want to say that this project is amazing. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I think Rust is the most exciting thing that's happening in computing today. This sort of project that plausibly replaces software traditionally written only in C/C++ with something that has performance parity, but is in a language where contributions are relatively accessible and safe, is the most exciting thing even within the bounds of an intriguing ecosystem.

As someone who is especially concerned about the performance of my tooling these days due to what seems to be a generally infinite willingness to accept web apps that are slower than desktop apps from decades ago, and which seem to continually demand more resources year over year, I really appreciate that such a distinguishing eye has been given to Alacritty's speed and resource usage. Some contemporary alternatives like Electron-based terminals are academically interesting, but are programs I'd never want to use due to the huge step backwards in these areas.

One question: do you have any plans to use Alacritty to try and advance the state of terminal emulators more generally? e.g. Displaying images, richer interfaces that don't depend on ASCII bar characters, graphs, properly tabulated results, etc. This is a direction that I wish we were going, but it's not clear to me how to get there without many sacrifices.

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WhatIsDukkha 2 days ago 13 replies      
I really disagree with the authors definition of minimal.

Terminal emulators have such a minimal user interface as it is it's a bit boggling that I have to make the case for the following "bloat" that other terminal emulators have.

I need scrollback because I do occasionally pick up my mouse and grab things that have scrolled off the screen. Tmux doesn't help with this but maybe there is some magic that I don't know these days.

I need tabs. At any given time many of those tabs might have instances of tmux somewhere in their multiply nested depths, generally on remote hosts.

I'm not going to start tmux on every local prompt just so I can use Alacritty and thus intentionally starting a tmux in tmux funshow.

I use "Monitor for Silence" "Monitor for Activity" pretty consistently.

It's free software so I glad the author is making something and hopefully enjoying the process. I can't really use this or consider it until he reconsiders. Maybe he'll get some collaborators that will argue him around on this.

Cool project otherwise.

3
skybrian 2 days ago 5 replies      
It sounds like a fun project, but I don't really understand what performance issues this solves? I don't think I've ever had an issue with slow terminal rendering using the default terminals on Ubuntu or Mac OS. What sort of applications do you run where it becomes an issue?

On the other hand, something like mosh [1] seems like it could be really useful on slow network connections. But that's not about rendering faster.

[1] https://mosh.org/

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jwilm 2 days ago 22 replies      
I'm the author of Alacritty, and I'm here to answer any questions!
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llimllib 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Make sure you have the right Rust compiler installed. Alacritty is currently pinned to a certain Rust nightly

Ok, I'll... um not do that. Hope you publish a build soon though!

edit: more seriously, the nightly compiler situation on rust is going to become a problem as it gets more developer use. I really hope they're able to stabilize it.

edit 2: I'm really sorry if I derailed the conversation in a not useful way, @jwilm

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cyberpunk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Jwilm: This is great, and I'm really looking forward to following this project; beers on me and thanks for the effort!

A few findings from my side if you want some feedback, I generally work mosh'd into some beefy servers with a long running tmux I resume -- so I'm probably the use case this is aimed at (client: xps13, archlinux).

1) If I create a vertical split view (tmux_key+v) while I already have some output in the left side of the split, and have nothing but my prompt in the right side; then resizing the split is instant/snappy.. However, if I then do a find / in the 'new' (right) split, ctrl+c it after a moment and then resize it lags/judders hugely -- I'm not sure what's going on there but let me know if you'd like me to try and explain that more if you can't reproduce from that.. This doesn't happen in termite..

2) I had to set offsets and use a giant font to make it look reasonable on my (highdpi) lappy:

font:

 normal: family: SourceCodePro # should be "Menlo" or something on macOS. style: Regular bold: family: SourceCodePro # should be "Menlo" or something on macOS. italic: family: SourceCodePro # should be "Menlo" or something on macOS. size: 26.0 offset: x: 4.0 y: -30.0
Otherwise:

+100 :}

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Anilm3 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a very interesting concept and another example of what can be done with Rust. However and without the intention of discouraging the author, I did not find any performance improvement from Alacritty using Ubuntu 16.04 on an i7-4500U (using integrated graphics HD 4400). Here are some numbers, simply printing the contents of 446 files:

At 80x24:

gnome-terminal:

 real0m0.848s user0m0.032s sys0m0.072s
Alacritty:

 real0m6.832s user0m0.032s sys0m0.164s
At fullscreen:

gnome-terminal:

 real0m0.819s user0m0.020s sys0m0.088s
Alacritty:

 real0m8.972s user0m0.064s sys0m0.164s
The font was a tad smaller by default on Alacritty, changing it made no significant difference in the numbers. Since the difference in performance was quite noticeable I decided not to test other possible configurations, but I could do so if it might help.

My graphics card has a pretty poor performance in general so that might be an indication that, since the performance of Alacritty is directly impacted by the graphics card, it might be useful for the author to determine the "minimum requirements" for Alacritty to outperform the competition.

In any case, it might not be a fair comparison as the author has stated that this is a pre-alpha release, but maybe he can find it helpful in some way, as he suggests he hasn't been able to find a test in which Alacritty didn't perform as well as another terminal.

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botverse 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Like 58% faster than iTerm2 in my Late 2013 MBP retina.

 find ~ iTerm2 1m20s alacritty 47s 
where the find command itself uses between 40% and 50% of a core, the TERM emulator process uses is 5x in iTerm2

 iTerm 130% (peak up to 140%) alacritty 25% (peak up to 29%)
I'm very excited with this and I'm going to follow the development of alacritty :)

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shmerl 2 days ago 1 reply      
A pity you can't use Vulkan on MacOS. Otherwise you could have used vulkano[1] instead of OpenGL.

1. https://github.com/tomaka/vulkano

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coldtea 2 days ago 0 replies      
>tabs and scrollback are unnecessary. The latter features are better provided by a terminal multiplexer like tmux.

I beg to differ. I don't really know whenever there's a project that's almost perfect, there's some braindead decision that cripples it with no good reason.

I'd understand it if some more advanced or exotic feature wasn't available, but scrolling?

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lngnmn 1 day ago 1 reply      
While GPU accelerated 3D interfaces (like it in 3D games) is a good idea (at least one could mix data visualization and with controls - the way WebGL guys do it) a terminal emulator does not require any acceleration, leave alone having a Nvidia drivers or Cuda as a dependency.

What a decent terminal emulator should have is standard compliance and decent font rendering (and freetype is good-enough).

Lousy engineering will lead to lousy code, especially when the main objective is to show off (engineering is, obviously, not an objective.) Btw, using Rust is not an engineering.

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garaetjjte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice, but:

 thread 'pty reader' panicked at 'index out of bounds: the len is 24 but the index is 24', /buildslave/rust-buildbot/slave/nightly-dist-rustc-linux/build/src/libcollections/vec.rs:1371
or

 thread 'pty reader' panicked at 'cursor fell off grid', src/term/mod.rs:634

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__ddd__ 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really, really like this so far. Interestingly, it's dependence on tmux (which I really like overall) for 'extra' terminal features presents some problems for performance and usability.

Tmux has its own non-trivial rendering bottlenecks, the most significant of which comes into play when you have multiple clients attached to a session. As a test, I went into a notes folder and did `grep -r e .`. When Alacritty was sized larger than mate's default terminal, mate's default terminal finished rendering first. When Alacritty was sized smaller than mate's terminal, Alacritty finished first. Also of note was that Alacritty running tmux rendered slower than mate's default terminal without tmux. This was an uncontrolled experiment, especially since this was a tmux session with a couple windows with a couple panes per window, on a tmux server with 2 other sessions (with a lot of vim windows etc), but something tells me the results would be the same if I used a tmux server with one session/window/pane. As a tmux user, this isn't a huge deal to me, but it should be concerning the the Alacritty devs since Alacritty requires a multiplexer to be usable.

My biggest concern, however, is not performance related, but usability related. Consider this use case: Alacritty -> ssh into remote server -> run tmux on remote server. How am I supposed to paste anything into that remote tmux session now? Am I supposed to nest my remote tmux session in a local tmux session? That sounds awful! I've found satisfactory workarounds to the lack of copy/paste when working locally, but it falls apart when I can't rely on duplicating the tmux register to the clipboard (and vice versa) because the clipboard is remote.

If I can find a workaround to the remote paste issue, I will probably use Alacritty exclusively. Otherwise, I can't use this terminal for remote work, and I'd rather not run two different terminals just so that rendering is faster _sometimes_

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Asooka 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hm, if we're doing GPU rendering for speed, I'd suggest uploading vector glyph data to the GPU and rasterising on the GPU in the pixel shader, rather than using FreeType. See here: http://wdobbie.com/post/gpu-text-rendering-with-vector-textu... . The WebGL Demo is really impressive - it lets you zoom in and out on a multi-page PDF at speeds I haven't seen anywhere else.
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ggame 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to host this terminal in a 3D environment. Any plans to enable this? Perhaps with a signed distance field texture.

I'm building a 3D game in Rust and would like to be able to drop this in.

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richdougherty 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Both the utf8parse and vte crates that were written for Alacritty use table-driven parsers. The cool thing about these is that they have very little branching; utf8parse only has one branch in the entire library!

From a simplicity point of view table-driven parsing is pretty neat. However, it does mean you'll be getting a lot of branch misprediction in your single branch, since it's harder for the CPU to predict where it will branch to. You could probably go faster with some handcoding in the parser.

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Arubis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I didn't even realize my (iTerm2) terminal emulator wasn't fast until I tried Alacritty. When doing non-intensive tasks, the difference is less one of vision and more a "feel". And it feels SNAPPY. And, as a heavy tmux user, I'm definitely your target audience.

But...the font rendering doesn't look as good as iTerm's, at least not yet.

I suspect I'll be swapping once you're at a public build release.

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epberry 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really like this. It combines my love of tmux and vim with my interest in rust, system software, terminals, and my eternal quest for the fastest, simplest, most cross platform terminal development environment. Great job - looking forward to running nightly builds of this.

EDIT: Ah, after a little sleuthing, the recent post from OneSignal on why they chose rust for one of their services makes sense :).

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sigi45 2 days ago 1 reply      
Less repeating that it is fast and more benchmarks instead!
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xedrac 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks great so far. Other than scrolling support, the one thing I miss the most is the use of the up arrow to scroll through history. Ctrl+R is great, but sometimes I just want to scroll through my most recent commands.
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ejp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, I am definitely the target for this. I often have tmux panes watching fast-scrolling log files while trying to continue to work in another pane. I've been trying to tweak tmux to perform better, but it really is the rendering speed that's holding it back.

The lack of scrollback/tabs/etc doesn't bother me at all - I use tmux for this exactly as suggested.

Thank you for this!

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anoother 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting use of vsync.. using it to cap redraw time and allow more time for processing...
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010a 2 days ago 1 reply      
Installation was surprisingly easy.

And performance was surprisingly good. `find /Applications` results in...

- Unrecoverably crashing Hyper- 1:28 iTerm2- 0:32 Terminal- 0:20 Alacritty

Very impressive stuff. I'll be keeping an eye on this project.

And performance was surprisingly good; a `find /Applications` on my computer crashes Hyper, takes 1:28 on iTerm2,

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Philipp__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh thank you so much!!! I am right now in dire need of light terminal (read st's equivalent) for macOS, since iTerm2 felt bloated since few years ago and font rendering is kinda meh, and it is slow, and it has many many features I really do not need, and Terminal.app simply doesn't make the cut (no true color support for example). I need speed, true colors, and minimalistic terminal as possible, since I use tmux (tabs and gui not needed) for anything if I need more than one terminal screen. Not sure if this is worth the hassle to set up right now, I might just wait for alpha release. But I am watching this on GitHub and can't wait to try it! (plus it's Rust which almost made me dance in my room)
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dvcrn 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a tmux+vim user, this hits right home for me. I never use terminal tabs and do almost everything inside tmux.

The only time during development I use a other app is when I start neovim-qt, just so I have faster rendering and squeeze even more performance out of it. If Alacritty is giving me the same speed without me having to spawn a graphical vim for it, sign me up!

I'm going to try this as my main tool for a couple of days and collect some feedback :)

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callumprentice 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/unconed/TermKit or https://acko.net/blog/on-termkit/

TermKit is another terminal app from 2011 designed to modernize the command line experience.

Sadly, I don't think it's being worked on anymore.

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koyote 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having never thought my current terminal emulator was slow I was surprised to immediately see a difference with Alacritty!

That being said, every time I install a package useing apt-get (Xubuntu) Alacritty crashes with the following:thread 'pty reader' panicked at 'index out of bounds: the len is 24 but the index is 18446744073709551615', /buildslave/rust-buildbot/slave/nightly-dist-rustc-linux/build/src/libcollections/vec.rs:1371

I guess we're not quite at 1.0 yet but looking good otherwise!

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dorianm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Also, Cathode is a terminal made with OpenGl and it's really fast: https://www.jwz.org/blog/2011/01/cathode-vintage-terminal-em...
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sakabaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very impressive. I am manipulating huge amount of text data on a regular basis directly in the terminal, smoother exhaust experiment is a huge win. I wish I can give you some money right now to support the development.
30
greenspot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Excited and happy to see such a project!

I am using iTerm2 on a maxed-out MBP 15 Retina quad core and Xshell on a $150 Asus Cherry Trail netbook. You won't believe it but Xshell on the crappy netbook feels light-years faster and more responsive than iTerm2 on the MBP.

Wondering how Alacritty will perform, looking forward.

31
readittwice 2 days ago 1 reply      
so this uses GPU-accelerated rendering with OpenGL. TBH I have never used OpenGL and when I read "GPU-accelerated XYZ" this still sounds like magic to me because I've know idea how this works. Could you point me to some resources where I can read up on this stuff? if this helps you: I am not a newbie, I already know C, C++ and Rust, but I haven't done any graphics programming at all yet. For example I only have a very rough idea what shaders do.
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uvesten 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. I just installed this on macOS, and the difference in speed compared to iTerm 3 is huge!

I always assumed that it was my bloated vim and tmux configs that made it feel a bit sluggish sometimes, but it turns out i was the terminal. Now everything feels instantaneous.

After some color bugs have been ironed out I'll switch full-time.

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malensek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome! This is exactly what I've been hoping for. The state of terminal emulators on macOS is particularly bad, at least when it comes to speed. Both the built-in term and iTerm have a lot of features, but really start to lag on big screens with a lot of text. I used to run urvxt under XQuartz for this reason, but there's scaling problems with retina screens these days.

Nice work. Hopefully this can fill a particular void for folks that want no-frills fast terminal emulation.

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hl5 1 day ago 1 reply      
Great idea and I hope Alacritty continues to evolve because it should eventually be the fastest given the GPU integration. However, st is faster on my system, supports bitmap fonts like SGI screen, handles true color, works when no GPU is present, has half the LoC, and has less dependencies.
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fvargas 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Welcome to nginx!

> If you see this page, the nginx web server is successfully installed and working. Further configuration is required.

On jwilm.io -- Just wanted to let you know

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GrinningFool 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for making this and posting it. This is a thing I've been looking for (simple accelerated terminal that performs well) for a very long time.
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conradk 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not sure why they rebuilt a clipboard library when "clipboard" exists (I think it might even be used within Servo, not sure): https://crates.io/crates/clipboard
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vectorpush 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those who rely on tabs, one great advantage of relying on the multiplexer instead is that your "tabs" live within the terminal, so when you ssh into your session, the machine has all your "tabs" ready and waiting instead of tied up in a non-accessible GUI.
39
Gonzih 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love the project! Completely agree with minimalistic philosophy. I can see why some people feel like scrollback would be needed, I personally myself always work in tmux sessions, but still.
40
rocky1138 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why OpenGL instead of Vulkan since that's where everything seems to be going these days.
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d_kol 1 day ago 0 replies      
Impressive! I run https://github.com/slash-hq/slash and it just works.
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aoeu345 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just installed on Linux Mint. The installation was quick and painless from the instructions, and it is noticeably faster than my previous MATE terminal. We'll see if I notice a lack of scrollback.

Thanks!

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psheets 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does this support crossfire?
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gigatexal 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is really cool though I can't seem to get it to build on my mac. Though the stock OSX terminal is plenty fast for me. Maybe I don't do enough intensive work
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Bromskloss 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Using vim inside tmux in many terminals was a particularly bad experience. None of them were ever quite fast enough.

When does this slowness show itself?

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simlevesque 2 days ago 0 replies      
It really is the fastest one I ever used. Font rendering is great.
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jxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buzzwords aside, why do we need GPU-accelerated terminal emulators? What is the real speed constraint in a terminal emulator?
49
ninjakeyboard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool project for learning and exploration and congrats on making a fast term. I'm not sure that this solves a problem that I have personally.
50
sdegutis 2 days ago 2 replies      
How much unsafe code was needed to make this work?
51
dvt 2 days ago 2 replies      
Pretty awesome, but I'm not sure if I want my GPU fans spinning if all I'm doing is looking at a terminal :P
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steeve 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love iTerm3, but the speed compared to Terminal.app sometimes makes me jealous.

So I guess we all need a faster term emulator :)

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DavideNL 1 day ago 0 replies      
heh just fyi, my F-secure reports:

"Harmful web site blocked. blog.jwilm.io

This web site has been reported as harmful. We recommend that you do not visit this web site."

54
0x445442 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Projects like this are so so close but fall just short of the ideal. I've been thinking about this for years but I have not been at the point in my life where I could implement my ideas which are these:

1.) A UI which is just a line/text field to enter commands. Something like the command prompt but which fuzzy matches commands like the mini-buffer in emacs or the omni text field in Chrome or Firefox or even Enso from a few years back.

2.) Each command is name spaced to an "agent" to avoid command collisions. For example agent 'jarvis' would have a set of commands it response to like jarvis/foo, jarvis/bar or jarvis/baz.

3.) The output of each command is a list of 0..N items/objects rendered in a master/detail view where navigation over the list shows a detailed view of each object/item in the list.

4.) An item/object can be anything from an email, rss entry, web page, graphic, tweet, contents from a text file. Basically anything that is renderable.

5.) The output of any command can be piped to any other command which is able to parse the list of items/objects from the prior command and render its own new list.

This UI paradigm seems to cover an incredibly large set of use cases. The only use cases I can think of which are not covered are those where the keyboard input device is not sufficient; such things as graphics manipulation where a mouse or pen & tablet are needed.

The frustrating thing for me has been to witness the vast number of systems over the years that have nibbled at the edges of this paradigm but have not gone all the way. What I'm talking about mostly here are the numerous launcher systems like Enso or Quick Silver or dMenu. All these systems have UIs very similar to what I'm talking about but they're restricted to launching existing apps and controlling the options exposed in menus of existing apps.

The other class of applications I've seen that come close are the ones like that mentioned in this topic. Applications like notty where the effort is spent trying to shoehorn extra rendering capabilities into a terminal emulator.

What I want is essentially a Grand Unified User Interface (GUUI) such that applications as we know them are done away with and we only deal with commands and output.

A system where I can type web/news.ycombinator.com and a one item list comes back with that first item selected by default in the details view. And that item is the front page of Hacker News. Then I could next type email/inbox and a list of emails in my inbox are rendered. And of course while viewing one of the items in my email/inbox I could type email/reply which would render a text area to reply to my previously selected email.

As I said earlier, the use cases seem endless and this paradigm seems like it would be incredibly efficient for those who can type well.

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elventear 2 days ago 0 replies      
cat /dev/random on macOS Sierra crashes for me.
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sssilver 2 days ago 1 reply      
How do they define performance, and how do they measure it?
57
yeasayer 2 days ago 1 reply      
In terms of speed, Alacritty to Hyper is like Sublime to Atom?
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rafinha 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why does one need 500fps on terminal ? I don't understand the need for the GPU.
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plg 2 days ago 0 replies      
iOS version?
60
scott_s 2 days ago 1 reply      
This could definitely be tagged as a Show HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html).
61
teen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wex wex exort!
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jbverschoor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very cool.
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jackmott 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awww hell yeah.
2
LEDs may cause retinal toxicity at occupational domestic illuminance nih.gov
616 points by vmarsy  3 days ago   204 comments top 34
1
hprotagonist 3 days ago 16 replies      
Some immediate thoughts:

1. 6000 lux is a _lot_ of light.

2. The LEDs tested are not the "warm white" (1500-2500K) commonly used as replacements for incandescent bulbs in the US. They're the "blue white" (>4000K) ones, or pure blue or pure green at specific wavelengths.

With those constraints, it's an interesting result. It does not mean you need to run home and rip all the lights out, though.

2
ChuckMcM 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, guess you can get LED poisoning :-). The question that I've heard being bandied about is that people use brighter (higher luminous flux) LED lights and displays for better visibility and the question was whether or not the pupil dilation reflex was appropriately triggered (sort of like going blind by looking directly at a total eclipse of the Sun). If a cause could be identified and reproduced it seems the "fix" would be simply adjusting the spectrum of the output to clue your eye into the fact that it was really bright.

Anyway, I wonder if these guys got a follow up grant, does anyone know?

3
thenomad 2 days ago 1 reply      
Having now skimmed through the paper, there's one very reassuring thing that no-one's pointed out yet:

Long-term exposure to LED at 500 lux, in cyclic (light/dark) conditions induced retinal damage only in albino rats but not in pigmented rats

So, at household levels WITHOUT artificially dilated eyes, only the albino rats (who one would assume are more sensitive to light) suffered any damage.

Given that, as another commenter mentions, rats are likely to be more sensitive to light than humans anyway, this looks like it's a reassuring rather than concerning result. Just don't artificially dilate your eyes then stare at a super-bright LED bank for 24 hours!

4
justin_vanw 3 days ago 9 replies      
I'm curious why LEDs used in light bulbs could cause eye damage, but not for backlights in computer monitors or other common uses? I kindof get the impression that the blue-tinted led's are being considered 'evil' and studies are 'showing' that they are 'harmful'. Certainly these blue led's have far far far less of any wavelength at all of output than say the sun at noon...

I wouldn't be surprised to see that this study is never reproduced.

5
joveian 3 days ago 1 reply      
One area where this can matter more than standard lighting is light therapy devices. I have a circadian sleep disorder and for those light therapy is one of the few medically recommended treatments (it is also recommended in the winter for seasonal affective disorder). There are two basic types of light therapy devices, a bright light that you set on the table nearby and a less bright light in a visor that you put near your eyes. I think LEDs are universal in the visor style ones and quite common in the table ones. The blue spectrum is more effective than other wavelengths so they are frequently focused on the blue spectrum although some of the table ones are white light. They are only supposed to be used for a half hour or hour at most.

I just tried for a couple of weeks a visor style light that is just over 500 lux at 500nm dominant wavelength (blue-green; it looks green and is a longer wavelength than most such devices). While it didn't seem super bright, it did seem fairly bright and actually caused me mild pain, similar to what bright light occasionally causes. The lower 315 lux level did the same at first. I started with that a few days and it seemed like my eyes adapted quite a bit so I moved to the higher level. I got spooked after noticing the pain later in the day one day after using the visor on high in the morning, so I haven't tried the lower level again to see if that still causes pain. The manufacturer said that in studies about 3% of people report that problem.

Anyway, it seems to me that my use of the visor might be similar to the lighting in this study. I haven't noticed this issue with other artificial lighting, although I haven't been around LEDs that much that I know of, mostly compact flourescents. The closest is a led light alarm clock that I have stared at at close range for a while and is listed at 300 lux, although I'm not sure if that is what I am getting even a few inches away. The visor light does have a 50-166 hz pulse so that could be related; I'm not sure about the light alarm, but I never noticed that flicker the way the visor does.

Anway, 500 lux at eye level at least can be quite a bit different than normal lighting.

6
manmal 3 days ago 3 replies      
I don't like the light given off by LEDs. It looks unreal/surreal to me, and makes me uneasy if it's the only light source. Especially the blueish ones. Before installing them I was very enthusiastic about all the benefits of low power lighting, but now I want to switch back to halogen bulbs, or at least very warmly colored LEDs.

I'm oversensitive though. E.g. slightly flickering energy saving lamps make me dizzy, exacerbated by ACs making my eyes dry (hello, Ikea).

I hope those nano-coated regular light bulbs will become a thing.

7
Torkel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Link to full paper via sci-hub:http://twin.sci-hub.cc/ac1a63745360991b7b9a42390ab3faa8/krig...

(Sorry if this is a dupe and hope this link is persistent, I scanned the thread and saw some people lacking access and didn't see any sci-hub post)

8
clumsysmurf 3 days ago 0 replies      
> using different LEDs (Cold-white, blue and green)

I wonder what the results would look like for warm LEDs ~ 2700K. I used to be a Cold-white aficionado but moved to warms for everything. If I experiment by suddenly switching between my cold and warm lights its pretty jarring (warm seems more relaxing).

9
threepipeproblm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's important to recognize that this is far from the only study pointing to this, and that similar problems are associated with CFL's.

For example, here is a 2014 study, "White LightEmitting Diodes (LEDs) at Domestic Lighting Levels and Retinal Injury in a Rat Model" http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1307294/

This article cites numerous studies in the quotes section ( scroll down) http://lowvision.preventblindness.org/daily-living-2/artific...

Links to eye toxicity, macular degeneration, and blindness are not the only problems associated with new lighting either, which tends to be very heavy in the blue components. Lots of research links usage of blue-heavy white lighting to damaging circadian rhythms, which can lead to significant health effects. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912092554.h...

This year the AMA issued a public safety warning regarding LED street lights because of the association with circardian rhythm disruption and related health effects. http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/21/health/led-streetlights-ama/in...

Paul Jaminet has stated that circadian rhythm disruption has been more strongly linked to cancer than any food study, ever.

I use the GE Align PM LED bulbs, available on Amazon, which cut out most of the blue frequencies and largely address both sets of problems. Highly recommended. https://www.amazon.com/GE-Lighting-93842-350-Lumen-Dimmable/...

EDITED to correct summary of AMA announcement.

10
mtw 3 days ago 1 reply      
In a study done on rats... evidence is low, i would wait for large scale studies before concluding on LED health effects
11
PaulHoule 3 days ago 0 replies      
If blue light exposure causes Macular Degeneration I wouldn't be suprised if environmental and genetic effects would cause some people to be affected by it and others not.

This is the case for noise related hearing loss. Everybody loses hearing acuity a bit as they get older, but exposure to noise accelerates this process. Exposure to ambient sounds in the high 60s (decibels) is harmful to a small segment of the population. That's not very loud, but fortunately most people are not hurt at that level. Occupational exposure levels are set considerably above that point.

12
chubot 3 days ago 4 replies      
Does anyone else use something like flux or redshift permanently? These programs change the color temperature of your monitor based on the time of day, but I use them all day.

Otherwise my eyes start watering after awhile and get itchy and irritated. I think I must be sensitive to blue light. I used to set it around 4500 color temperature but now I lowered it to 4000.

13
joaomagalhaes 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just a word of caution not to draw precipitated conclusions since this is a study in preclinical phase tested on rats. Of course it means something and requires further study but just wanted to emphasise the fact that it wasn't applied on humans.
14
theseadroid 3 days ago 0 replies      
A related study on human retinal pigment epithelial cells

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eva_Chamorro/publicatio...

15
AhtiK 3 days ago 0 replies      
So the blue SAD lamps like this would be especially dangerous. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Klarstein-Therapy-Generous-Display-...

I have this exact same model and it has been working great, too bad if carrying a significant risk.

16
moritzsimon 3 days ago 0 replies      
Two more situations where this spectrum and intensity is in use: on stages (music,TV) the old PAR lights are nowadays nearly fully replaced by strong led spots shining directly on the actors. Still you don't spend 22h on stage of course.

The other situation would be artificial gardening system where a heavy bended light spectrum is used to grow lettuce etc.

17
jp555 3 days ago 0 replies      
Oh great, no doubt this will picked up as a sensationalist news item that'll inevitable lead to a futile debate with my elderly inlaws about how dangerous LED lights are, because this is proof, no matter how much my inlaws are NOT nocturnal albino lab rats.

Sigh...

18
fsiefken 3 days ago 1 reply      
How does this relate to staring at OLED at LED screens? Are they potentially dangerous as well? Could you prevent harm by running a tool like F.lux and lower the brightness?
19
squozzer 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks HN and NIH. Just in time too -- I have been mulling the purchase of an LED garage light.

https://www.haikuhome.com/garage-light

Color temp = 5000K. Output is 13000 lumens. The sales page assumes 10 ft x 15 ft illuminated area (install height not specified but probably 8 ft) = 250 ft^2 or ~23 m^2.

Doing the math yields 565 lumens / m^2. Should be a little more at standing (eyes ~5ft off the floor) height.

20
rsi_oww 3 days ago 0 replies      
Should I worry that I've been using this daily for a year, per my sleep doctor, for delayed sleep phase syndrome?

Philips GoLITE BLU - https://www.amazon.com/Philips-GoLITE-BLU-Energy-Light/dp/B0...

30 minutes a day at the highest setting...

21
EJTH 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always knew blue LEDs was bad for you. But its nice to have confirmation of this.

Blue LEDs can seem almost blinding.

22
monochromatic 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is it possible that this is just a problem with LEDs that flicker[1] because they don't rectify the AC? The blurb didn't mention this problem, but presumably that's not what's going on here.

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcbk4H2iGYU

23
edwhitesell 3 days ago 0 replies      
Normally, I would not have thought much about this kind of an article. But, I happen to be wandering around CES today and there was a booth somewhere that was promoting some glasses to protect your eyes from LED lights.

If I happen across that booth again, I'll stop and look.

24
dbg31415 2 days ago 0 replies      
Car headlights seem to have gotten much brighter in recent years. I know this is about domestic lighting, but... any concerns about car headlights and streetlights? Those tend to be much much brighter than indoor LEDs.
25
wonko1 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of recent results using 40Hz blinking LEDs to treat Alzheimer's:

http://news.mit.edu/2016/visual-stimulation-treatment-alzhei...

I often fall into the trap of thinking that light at normally encountered levels has essentially no effect. That's obviously not the case though.

26
zkhalique 3 days ago 0 replies      
Whew, I thought it said "LCDs". Are those safe?
27
gumby 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking through the literature it looks like it might be Dry AMD (macular degeneration) which is bad because it's currently untreatable. Wet AMD has some treatments available.
28
redsummer 3 days ago 0 replies      
When new phones or displays come out, the manufacturer will invariably brag about the increased color gamut. Before I get blinded with science, it's time to adjust my f.lux and night shift settings.
29
simonhughes22 2 days ago 0 replies      
What implications does this have for VR glasses like the Vive and the rift. Those use OLED displays?
30
adamwong246 3 days ago 0 replies      
raise your hand if this article prompted you to lower the color temperature of your monitor via f.lux
31
xwowsersx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can someone please tl;dr this? I seriously couldn't make it through the abstract.
32
smaili 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if this applies to organic LEDs as well?
33
a_gopher 3 days ago 0 replies      
Using a yellow whiteboard marker, simply colour in the LED's face. Problem solved.
34
cm2187 3 days ago 0 replies      
Name me a thing, a biscuit, a light bulb, a gadget, a piece of metal, where there isn't some sort of agency that claimed that it increases the risk of cancer by 0.3% based on a study based on a sample of 8 patients and an opinion from the author's grandma!
3
Car allergic to vanilla ice cream (2000) uwaterloo.ca
709 points by kornish  1 day ago   127 comments top 37
1
egocodedinsol 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Sent this to my father, a control systems engineer. He responded with his own story:

"This is a true story which I saw with my own eyes. In Arkansas... It was in the afternoon, at a boiler plant. Boilers have an induced draft fan that pulls combustion products from the combustion chamber. A big, big fan with an electric operated throttling damper.

The damper began behaving erratically and the operator jumped up, grabbed a firehose and started hosing down the actuator housing. I asked him what was going on. He said that the actuator had overheated and he was cooling it down and went on about it being a bad design.

Anyway, the actuator began working properly. He said this happens when the sun shines on the unit etc. And it was a bad design etc., Etc.etc

Then it happened again at 11:00 PM. Same story. I asked him about the fact it was cooler and the sun wasn't shining on it. Don't recall his answer but he explained it all away, got the fire hose out and fixed it and I got the bad design lecture again.

Turned out to be a loose wire. The shaking from the fire hose always fixed the problem temporarily and reinforced his belief.

He was truly disappointed."

2
DonHopkins 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I posted this before, but it's worth repeating now:

I heard a story about a terminal in a public terminal room that a user was able to consistently log in to if they were sitting down in a chair in front if the terminal, but never if they were standing up.

They thought it might be static electricity, or some mechanical problem, or "problem exists between keyboard and chair", but finally they noticed something else was amiss...

It turns out some joker had re-arranged the 1234567890 keys to be 0123456789, so when the user was standing up, they looked down at the keyboard and typed their password (which contained a digit, of course) by looking at the keys. But when they were sitting down, they touch typed without looking at the keys, and got their password correct!

3
ggreer 23 hours ago 11 replies      
I hate to be that person, but I doubt the story is true. The variance in time spent waiting in the checkout line is far greater than the time it takes to walk to the front vs back of the store.

What do you know? I google "snopes car allergic to ice cream" and find that it's an urban legend: http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/icecream.asp

4
ramanan 23 hours ago 6 replies      
Reminds me of one of my all-time favorites -

The 500 mile email

https://www.ibiblio.org/harris/500milemail.html

5
rzimmerman 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Another (real) story of my own:

We had a piece of software that would present a dialog for the user to select a file, then parse and send the contents to an embedded device. This software was an internal tool and not very reliable, so it would crash if you selected a file with invalid contents.

Two engineers, Dan and Brian, came to me with a tricky problem. Every time Dan would open a specific file everything would work fine. Every time Brian selected the same file the program would crash. I was obviously skeptical and went to watch. We tried it 10-20 times and sure enough, it always failed for Brian and worked for Dan. I watched them perform the exact same steps.

Eventually I gave it a try myself and realized what was going on. Dan would click "open", select the file, then click OK. Brian would click "open" then double click the file.

6
phoboslab 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the kind of bug report that will keep you busy (and occasionally drive you crazy) as an Open Source maintainer. The bug is real, but the reporter completely fails to (or is too "lazy" to) isolate the problem or build a simple test case without a lot of hand holding.

I recently filed a bug with Chromium[1]. It took me about 3 hours to isolate the problem and build a simple test case when I could have just reported "My HTML5 game fails to load when I refresh the page" - making it extremely time consuming for the Chrome maintainers (much more so than it was for me) to find the culprit.

Please isolate the problem when reporting bugs!

[1] https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=677633

7
hollander 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Many years ago we had a webserver that would stop working every other Friday around noon. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. I was the de-facto systems administrator, just because the previous left, so I was not really into this stuff. It was not a big deal, this was a non-essential development server, so I didn't pay much attention to it. I figured out the server rebooted, and the webserver didn't start automatically after a reboot. This was a configuration problem, and if it hadn't been for this, I maybe never would have known about the problem.

About half a year later we were working in the server room, replacing a server when a colleague unplugged the old UPS in there. Unplugging the UPS for a minute shouldn't be a problem. The battery would take over and nothing would go down.

But well, the two servers attached to it immediately went down. It took me a minute, and then it dawned to me that this was the problem. The UPS did a test every other Friday, shut the power off as a test, which caused the two attached servers to restart, after which the webserver didn't start...

We removed the UPS as we didn't need it in the first place, problem solved.

8
headcanon 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.

> Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: "You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong."

> Knight turned the machine off and on.

> The machine worked.

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/koans.html#id3141171

9
BeniBoy 8 hours ago 0 replies      
My father encountered one of these voodoo issues once. He works in satellite images processing. Basically uses Spot data to analyse ground vegetation coverage.

One day while processing a batch, he noticed one parcel was giving the most awkward results. Totally different that anything he ever saw. This bug troubled him for almost a week, he couldn't figure out wether the satellite malfunctioned or if something was amiss in his calculation. Then it clicked, and a quick internet search confirmed his intuition. The satellite took the picture right in the middle of a solar eclipse!

10
cperciva 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Not quite as obscure, but the solution to "I can list my tarsnap archives but I can't extract them" is "fix your broken path MTU discovery" -- listing archives accidentally avoids MTU problems because it doesn't send enough data at once to fill a MTU-sized segment.
11
adhksafds 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's one of my favorites from my desktop support days. A frequent flying calls in one day to report that her keyboard is broken. Diagnostic questions indicate that it keeps entering spaces all on its own.

I bring a replacement but first sit town and test-drive it without any issue, to her surprise. Next, I watch her type. Now, this user happens to be a rather large woman, working at a somewhat cramped desk. After typing for a bit, she exclaims, "See, it's doing it again!" Sure enough, spaces are appearing in her word processor, and her thumbs are not pushing the spacebar. Her breasts, however, are. I delicately explained to her that she is "leaning" on the keyboard. By rearranging her desk and seat, the problem was happily solved.

Probably the most apt PEBKAC I've witnessed.

12
scott_karana 23 hours ago 0 replies      
List of software folklore, including this, the 500 mile email, and the rest:

http://beza1e1.tuxen.de/lore/

13
lubujackson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Back when I was a severely cheap and short-sighted college student I drove a beater Chevy Corsica that had a recurring problem: it would stall if I stopped the car.

Now I could start the car fine, usually. But after driving for a few minutes, if I came to a stop the car would stutter, lurch and stall. I would then restart the car with a bit more effort and continue to the next stop, where the problem got worse and it would take longer and longer to get the car restarted. But eventually the car WOULD restart and I would continue on.

It was the perfect confluence of conditions to promote all kinds of stupid behavior. I always said, "I'm not driving again until I get this fixed" and two days later saying, "wellll, I can make it to the supermarket before it stalls!"

This went on for MONTHS, with the overall problem getting steadily worse. I could feel the car fighting to stay running as I slowed down. I became a master of giving myself a huge lead up to red lights and slowwwwly lurching up to them, desperately hoping the light would turn. One time I took a rolling right turn at a red, did a u-turn, took another right and kept going. One time I stalled at a tollbooth for 10 minutes. Like I said, I was an idiot.

I was certain this was going to be some tragic $1000 repair that I could ill-afford. When I finally brought the car in, the mechanic could find nothing wrong - except my air filter was exceptionally dirty. The car had simply been choked to death and needed more and more WIND to provide oxygen for combustion.

14
bungie4 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is the first time ever I can provide at least some amount of verification to a story published on the Internet.

A family friend was a service advisor for a GM dealership in the 60's and early 70's. He told this same story to me in the late 70's.

Whether its true, or, was used to teach service advisors not to dismiss 'crazy claims I don't know. But it's been around longer than year 2000 cited in the story.

Edit: So its an urban legend. At least this one predates the Internet

15
gsylvie 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of Ubuntu Bug 255161: Openoffice can't print on Tuesdays (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8171956)
16
adhksafds 22 hours ago 4 replies      
I have this problem. When I drive home after a long commute, I have really, really loud wheel noise (loud like impossible to ignore, turning your head on the street kind of noise). This only happens when I am driving 40 minutes or more, and only on the last couple miles to my house (which happens to be several miles of downhill driving with a fairly steep grade towards the end). The noise continues to persist, even at very low speeds once I get into town. If I let the car sit for just five minutes or so, the noise goes away.

This doesn't happen every time I drive home. It might depend on environmental conditions. It won't ever happen if I just go for a quick drive up and down the hill. The dealership has not been able to find anything wrong with it or come up with any explanation. This has been happening for over two years, it's a 2013 Honda hybrid, bought new. I've speculated if it could some brake-related issue that only manifests when braking regeneration is suppressed when the battery is full. Has me at my wit's end. When I get home from work the dealership is closed, and even if I could make it into the dealership with the thing clanking away, by the time I could get in and talk to someone the noise would go away unless I had them on the phone and ready to hop into the car at a moment's notice. So much for the warranty.

17
firefoxd 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Ok this is a true story, and i still cannot explain it. But i will tell you anyhow.

We had a small clock that we kept in the closet. When you got up in the morning to get your clothes you could also see the time of day. In a quiet night, you could hear it ticking away.

One night it stopped ticking.

In the morning, we opened the closet to see if the battery had died. We gave it a good 3 seconds to make sure the needle wouldn't move, ... It did. It started ticking away.

The night that followed we stayed quiet and listened. It was quiet. So battery first thing in the morning. Morning came, we opened the closet door. 3 seconds later, it ticked. That was odd.

In the middle of the day we came to the closet, opened the door, the needle was still. Some seconds passed, the little clock started ticking.

Now it became knowledge in the whole family. We were kids so we would take it for a game. From time to time we would just stop talking and listen and hear nothing, we open the closet the clock is still, then it starts suddenly. We called it a ghost.

Years went by, new batteries were put in place, the clock still behaved the same. Everytime you started looking at it, it would start ticking.

It became a boring thing. No one cared about the little clock any more. I would open the closet, see it still, take my stuff and close it and it wouldn't even tick. But then i open it back up and it starts ticking two seconds later. Meh.

Then i had an idea. It was an idea so crazy that i was scared to try. I consulted with my brothers their eyes grew wide... So we did it... We removed the battery from the clock and closed the door.

Thr next morning was quiet. We were getting ready to go to school. All three of us stood in front of the closet door. Ready to see what was going to happen. My older brother opened the door. And the clock was there, quiet.

One second passed. I was afraid of what was going to happen. Two seconds passed. Lord please... Three ... Tick.

18
ars 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is why I take every bug report seriously, no matter how implausible.

I might not always be able to figure it out, but I at least try.

19
baldeagle 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I like how the traditional 'five whys' approach wouldn't work here... the answer was in a 'how'.
20
savvyraccoon 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting story, but who will put most popular item at the front of the store? It will be in the back of the store so customers will pass the other items in store and buy something compulsively
21
azurezyq 20 hours ago 0 replies      
We just met with a similar problem. Guy A met a with a problem that VM cannot be initialized repeatedly but guy B tried hard but still cannot reproduce.Turns out that A's user name is just a bit longer and hit systemd's 2K line limit.
22
suprgeek 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Another Parable:

I heard this in a presentation that was emphasizing the need to actually speak to the Ops folks before deploying the solutions that dev dreamed up:

A toothpaste factory had a problem: Due to the way the production line was set up, sometimes empty boxes were shipped without the tube inside. People with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming off of it is perfect 100% of the time. Small variations in the environment (which cannot be controlled in a cost-effective fashion) mean quality assurance checks must be smartly distributed across the production line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket wont get frustrated and purchase another product instead.

Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory gathered the top people in the company together. Since their own engineering department was already stretched too thin, they decided to hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem.

The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP (request for proposal), third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later a fantastic solution was delivered on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time. The problem was solved by using high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box would weigh less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box off the line, then press another button to re-start the line.

A short time later, the CEO decided to have a look at the ROI (return on investment) of the project: amazing results! No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory after the scales were put in place. There were very few customer complaints, and they were gaining market share. That was some money well spent! he said, before looking closely at the other statistics in the report.

The number of defects picked up by the scales was 0 after three weeks of production use. How could that be? It should have been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report. He filed a bug against it, and after some investigation, the engineers indicated the statistics were indeed correct. The scales were NOT picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.

Perplexed, the CEO traveled down to the factory and walked up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed. A few feet before the scale, a $20 desk fan was blowing any empty boxes off the belt and into a bin. Puzzled, the CEO turned to one of the workers who stated, Oh, thatOne of the guys put it there cause he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang!

http://cs.txstate.edu/~br02/cs1428/ShortStoryForEngineers.ht...

23
dundercoder 23 hours ago 1 reply      
How many times I've skipped checking something because... There's no way it could be that!

Only to spend 3+ hours troubleshooting other things, discovering in fact, it was the simple dumb thing.

24
samirillian 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought the moral of the story would be "correlation does not prove causation."
25
jsight 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great story. I have run into plenty of obscure problems like this in software development with "not reproducible bugs".
26
kirpekar 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Guy should have called Click and Clack
27
IgorPartola 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I once helped a coworker fix her not working keyboard in a fun way. Her computer was working fine, and her keyboard worked with any other computer, but not with her own. She tried all the usual things except one: I told her to unplug the computer and actually wait 30 seconds, not just power cycle it.

My theory is that the USB hub had a bad capacitor or some such which needed to discharge fully before communication on that port could happen. Funny thing is that she worked in tech support and would give this advice to others all the time.

28
dghughes 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Believe it or not I had a problem a bit similar only it was a problem with my transmission. I called it the ATM/Convenience Store problem.

If I made a quick stop then got back in my vehicle the automatic transmission wouldn't shift from 1st gear. I had to do all kinds of shifting stopping voodoo to get it to work.

I had brought it to the dealership several times but their mechanic said nothing was wrong or he couldn't find anything wrong. I didn't tell them it was the ATM a using it I said it was quick stop and go situations.

It still does it ocasionally but it seems age and wear are helping diminish the occurrences.

29
digler999 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The top comment here should be the one about "correlation doesn't prove causation". Secondly, this makes me think of Cargo Cult[1] programming practices. Your practices might be right, but it's much more valuable to know why they're right. [ or often, unnecessary, as CC practices usually are ].

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

30
rocketraman 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There was a better story about a printer / print server I remember reading somewhere -- someone here will remember and link it I'm sure. This story is so obviously contrived -- what would happen to the gentleman after his car would not start? By the time he called Triple-A or whomever, the car would start again, so the problem of time would be obvious even to a non-engineer.
31
ww520 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This speaks volume on how human can rationalize any phenomenon. When faced with a unexplained event, we all try to rationalize cause behind it even if there's not the real cause.
32
amoshag 20 hours ago 1 reply      
They eat ice cream every day??
33
thestateofmay 22 hours ago 0 replies      
rofl that doesn't sound very logical. He didn't have ANY other instance of him starting the car fast enough that it triggered the vapor lock?

fun story though.

34
ktopaz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
36
donohoe 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds fake. Engineer would have tested it multiple times on same day, not wait stay 3+ days just to test once per day.
37
NotThe1Pct 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this story 15 years ago and always cite it.

Pleased to see it again

4
My Watch Runs GNU/Linux sam.today
431 points by BuuQu9hu  3 days ago   223 comments top 31
1
RhodaLs 2 days ago 2 replies      
Being an old Slashdot user, the first incredibly dumb thought of mine was "Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!" With a pic of Natalie Portman for the watch face, of course.

But, one fun thing I could imagine doing is using it as an incredibly portable PirateBox. Or any other use of a file server hiding in plain sight.

2
hardwaresofton 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is awesome. I got in on the smartwatch craze super early (like sony smartwatch 1), and the one thing I wished was for was some F/OSS to run on my watch (believe it or not sony smartwatch 1 actually had a dev kit), and to finally getting rid of the oddly-intrusive smartphone apps that came with most smartwatches. Hyped to hear someone actually did it with Asteroid OS (even if it's Alpha).

I also thought FirefoxOS would evolve to maybe get in this space, but I was mega wrong about that and lots of other things so there's that. I'm excited that Asteroid won't meet the same fate, but maybe I'm biased.

Also stumbled upon http://www.openembedded.org/wiki/Main_Page while looking the repo for Asteriod. Excited to see what comes of this project and maybe even contribute in the future.

3
gcb0 2 days ago 13 replies      
meanwhile, everyone's phone here runs gnu/linux but completely out of reach.

everyone bought a computer from an advertising (google) or fashion (apple) company that only runs in kiosk mode. how does your 90s self feel about that?

4
kriro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since I own the same watch...I'm intrigued. Battery life is a concern (as is integration with some stuff). But yeah who am I kidding I'll try this and even if all it will ever do is display the time there's something to be said about "well yeah I got my Linux box right here!" :D

Remembering the "runs on a toaster" shirts I am now curious if NetBSD (or any BSD) will run on it. The thought that I never even considered messing with the watch makes me a bit sad (I've turned into too much of a consumer, not enough tinkerer left :P)

5
INTPenis 2 days ago 2 replies      
Love the hack but I can't agree that they're a fad. Long before smartwatches my cousin had a bluetooth watch connected to his phone. And today I have a smartwatch connected to my phone to avoid having to stop and take it out when I'm on a bike. I bike everywhere, like thousands others where I live.

So there's clearly a market for some sort of wrist-device that makes using your phone easier.

The thing that makes it feel like a stupid fad is when you have to charge it every day and therefore forget to put it on. It hasn't become habitual quite yet.

Which is why I love my smartwatch for having an e-ink display and not an amoled display. So even after more than a year of operation I still only charge it once a week.

6
api_or_ipa 3 days ago 3 replies      
One of the big draws of buying and wearing a mechanical watch is the emotional feeling of something busily working away on your wrist. In the same way I would fine great joy in wearing a flavour of linux right on my wrist.
7
shmerl 3 days ago 1 reply      
What GPU does it use? Is it a native GPU driver + Mesa or you use it with libhybris and Android blobs? Wayland is neat, but it's pretty annoying when there are no native drivers available. One of the problems with Android is, that it became like Windows of the past. Hardware makers produce Android drivers with closed userspace blobs, and leave it at that. Blobs built against bionic make running a proper glibc Linux on such devices a pain unless hacks like libhybris are deployed, or you manage to replace them with proper open drivers.
8
jff 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Even more amazingly, running on that tiny package of hardware is some live multitasking

Yep, pretty amazing that a quad-core 1.2GHz machine with half a gig of RAM can run more than one thing at a time!

9
pkaye 2 days ago 4 replies      
Its hard for me to consider a smartwatch when my current watch is solar powered and I haven't had to change batteries for the last 8 years. Maybe when these can run on a charge for 2+ weeks at a time I might consider it.
10
elcapitan 2 days ago 6 replies      
What would be the killer app for a smartwatch from a hacker/techie perspective? Because I'm still struggling to see any realistic use case for myself.
11
orblivion 3 days ago 0 replies      
I run Asteroid OS on the old LG watch (which I also got for free; probably a prime market for this OS). It's still in alpha so it's fairly buggy. But it looks really nice, particularly for being FOSS. It can (in principle) do notifications, weather, and music control. I look forward to them smoothing it all over, but I wear it already.
12
hyperpallium 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is amazing (I also have a moment of amazement at my smartphone every so often).

But an issue is power usage. (eg) ubuntu runs on a smartphone, but with much shorter battery life than android. (Tho TBF, I don't know the power efficiency of Asteroid OS).

One side-benefit of non-rooting linux (eg termux, terminalIDE) is retaining battery life.

However, Asteroid OS is open source, which counts for a lot!

13
flukus 2 days ago 2 replies      
Quad core + 512MB of RAM. Now it just needs HDMI out and we've got a quite capable portable computer on our wrists.
14
branchless 2 days ago 1 reply      
This needs a microphone. Would be great to be able to drive activity via voice, or make reminders. If it had some kind of bluetooth/wifi also then you could send emails via dictation but I guess the size/battery constraints rule that out.
15
h4nkoslo 3 days ago 2 replies      
This would be extremely appealing if it had sufficient I/O to make it into a mobile, basically headless computer you could hook up to whatever display or input was handy. Looks like it only has a single MicroUSB port though.
16
Animats 2 days ago 1 reply      
Four processors in a watch? That's impressive, but if you actually use them, what's the battery life?
17
jpl56 2 days ago 1 reply      
I notice that nobody answers to the "what is the battery life" questions...
18
matthewmorgan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks cool. Wouldn't trust it to tell the time though
19
teaearlgraycold 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is it 2003 again? The content container here uses a white png as a background instead of background-color: white
20
vmp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does it run Doom? :-)
21
norswap 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is this really something to be happy about?

Even ignoring technical considerations (the dizzying amount of code and cruft required to run a watch), it goes against one time-honored watch tradition: simple, elegant mechanics.

22
ensiferum 1 day ago 0 replies      
Something only a nerd can be excited about.
23
wonko1 3 days ago 1 reply      
Oh neat! I've always wanted this.

When I last tried hacking my Moto360 it was possible to get Debian running in a chroot reasonability easily.

The trouble came mostly with video access. The userland graphics libs are all compiled against BIONIC rather than glibc. And they were at the time only available in compiled form. That meant it wasn't really possible to have a clean glibc system.

I guess either something has changed, or they're using a hack, incorporating BIONIC, which is what many people have done on other mobile platforms.

Very neat though, I'm going to have to try this out!

24
disordinary 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whats the battery life like running Asteroid vs Android Wear?
25
aceperry 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great project. I had no idea the LG Urbane used an ARM Cortex-A processor. I have a few 1st gen Android watches, and those used the ST ARM cortex-M series micros. I have an LG Urbane as well, but wouldn't want to dump it since I find Android wear to be useful.
26
ge96 2 days ago 1 reply      
Site has responsive problem, cells overflow on Nexus 4
27
awinter-py 2 days ago 0 replies      
I tried asteroid on the sony smartwatch 3 this month -- graphics are iffy. Docs suggest experience is better on other hardware.
28
mankash666 2 days ago 3 replies      
Newbie question - isn't Android wear's kernel open source? Android has switched to Wayland as well right?
29
Nux 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very high CPU usage while browsing this site, Firefox' Reader View saves the say once again..
30
dom96 2 days ago 0 replies      
is there anything like this for Pebbles?
31
rxlim 2 days ago 3 replies      
I like how he is sarcastic about being very happy that systemd is installed on the watch.
5
FTC sues D-Link over router and camera security flaws ftc.gov
378 points by kposehn  2 days ago   192 comments top 15
1
nodja 2 days ago 7 replies      
My boss installed 2 camera DVRs a year or so ago. All I did was provide 2 external IPs for the DVR and didn't worry much about it. The password was the default "123456" that comes with these things, but since we don't care much about who sees the footage. At worse people will change the password and we need to factory reset (never happened).

Last week the internet for the whole office was going down. Weirdly I could remote in, but the DNS was not working. I first thought our DNS server crapped out but it was working fine. After some investigation, the firewall was not responding. After rebooting the firewall, it would work fine for a while, but go down shortly after.

Long story short: the DVRs my boss got (unbranded) come with telnet access on some nonstandard port. A botnet got access to it and was making thousands of dns and telnet queries, overloading the firewall.

2
luma 2 days ago 12 replies      
How long is the company that provides the product on the hook for for post-sale support and security updates? If I sell an internet-connected device which has a flaw discovered 5 years after the sale, am I still liable for patching that? Nowhere in this article nor in the complaint do I find any guidelines as to what they consider to be reasonable after-sale support. They list similar action taken against Asus and TRENDnet, which are all large international companies. I'm a dude in my workshop and placing an after-sale support and warranty requirement on anything I make for a period of n-years is onerous.
3
achillean 2 days ago 0 replies      
Last year I looked into how exposed D-Link devices on the Internet and created this overview page:

https://dlink-report.shodan.io/

There are basically ~500,000 D-Link devices directly connected to the Internet and exposing a service that a person on the outside can connect to. Most of the devices I saw back then, and still do now, are their standalone webcams.

4
rrggrr 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is great AND its a poor substitute for tort reform that permits private companies and individuals to collect damages for hardware/software that is negligently or fraudulently insecure. Products liability lawyers are very effective at changing industry behaviors towards safety to the lawyer's financial benefit but, ultimately, for end-user's security and safety. IANL.
5
pjmlp 2 days ago 4 replies      
This should happen more often.

The software industry must come to the same level of responsibility and quality expectations of other industries.

6
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if the FTC is backdooring a federal warranty carve out here for software with respect to security? Generally devices that come with software have specific disclaimers of all warranties for fitness and damages (either direct or incidental). And California has held such exclusions to be allowed[1]. So if the FTC prevails and D-Link is held to be liable for their software flaws, would that then create a place where consumers could sue software producers when their software broke even though there are specific exclusions in the TOS and EULA?

[1] http://wmblaw.blogspot.com/2013/05/are-contractual-exclusion...

7
israrkhan 2 days ago 0 replies      
After Mirai botnet disaster, government decided to step-in to IoT security landscape. I am not sure how far they can go to force consumer electronic manufacturers to add security to their products. Some CE manufacturers do not control the bulk of the software in their products. They just take kernel/libraries/binaries provided by SoC vendor and glue them together. SoC vendors are even more careless about security and they often provide out-dated and unpatched software. Even if SoC vendors or CE manufacturers start patching the vulnerabilities, it is very difficult to implement a secure firmware upgrade mechanism. A glitch in automated firmware upgrades can be very risky.

Perhaps FCC could start addressing these issues as part of certification requirements. However there are many challenges. How will FCC enforce SecureBoot and secure firmware upgrades and longterm product support? What will be the penalties. How will they deal with unbranded (or foreign) brands.

8
justinsaccount 2 days ago 3 replies      
Now if only ISPs could start notifying/disconnecting compromised users until they fix their shit.
9
piker 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's interesting to see the FTC bringing this based on injuries to the consumers themselves. We've previously discussed a regulatory body such as the FCC regulating the externalities of networking bugs. Here, the damages are internal to the consumer. It makes sense the FTC acts here, where individual damages could be very difficult to prove, if even discover. But query whether the potential for a class action suit (and lack thereof) have already suggested the proper result here. While this claim seems well-placed, hopefully, both the FTC and the court weighing the claim will establish a reasonable "foreseeableness" limit to the liability such that potential claims as this don't quell innovation in the space.
10
jbritton 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have a Netgear router. Netgear has end of life'd it and will not provide anymore firmware updates. It has security vulnerabilities. There is DD-WRT firmware available for it.However, Netgear has since modified their firmware to disallow installing DD-WRT.
11
jiqiren 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about all these smartphones being sold with unsupported broken versions of Android?
12
Illniyar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone know what are the reasonable steps that d-link failed to take?

I see no mention of it in the article.

13
zitterbewegung 2 days ago 0 replies      
Although we should emphasize securing consumer devices by default I don't see any other way to motivate companies to secure devices having either the FTC or a class action lawsuit to implement security.
14
NickBusey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any tips on how to find out which cameras are actually secure?
15
mankash666 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is an unfair lawsuit targeting a foreign corporation. If the FTC were consistent, they'd go after a majority of American tech companies (Cisco, juniper, MSFT..) with publicly known back doors into their technology.
6
A Tourists Guide to the LLVM Source Code regehr.org
473 points by zdw  2 days ago   44 comments top 6
1
nrjdhsbsid 2 days ago 3 replies      
Awesome overview! The author threw a hilarious quip in at the end too:

Target: the processor-specific parts of the backends live here. There are lots of TableGen files. As far as I can tell, you create a new LLVM backend by cloning the one for the architecture that looks the most like yours and then beating on it for a couple of years.

2
the_duke 2 days ago 3 replies      
100+ points, first place on front page, and not a single comment.

Now that's rare.

I assume everyone is excitedly browsing https://github.com/llvm-mirror/llvm? ;) ( the official repo at http://llvm.org/git/llvm is down)

3
omouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the kind of doc that should be written about work projects as well. I always love seeing great docs that make the job of understanding a codebase way simpler.
4
nuclx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Regehr's blog is an invaluable source of practically relevant SE knowledge.
5
crb002 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been putting it off, but I am definitely learning enough LLVM IR to code the 57 exercises for programmers.

Anyone interested in banging out the LLVM IR solutions to http://rosettacode.org? It looks like a few exist, but not many: http://rosettacode.org/wiki/99_Bottles_of_Beer/Assembly#LLVM

6
zump 2 days ago 1 reply      
Only problem is the CamelCase is incredibly verbose.
7
Lets Encrypt 2016 in Review letsencrypt.org
415 points by dankohn1  2 days ago   78 comments top 12
1
beeker87 2 days ago 3 replies      
Just want to say, I'm not affiliated with LE, but I think it makes a lot of sense to donate to them if you use their services regularly.

From my own use case, integrating TLS for my site via LE and the autocert package in Go has been seamless. It's completely free (if you want it to be), and it looks like I won't have to worry about renewing certs anymore. The service LE is providing is amazing. Just thinking of the millions of dollars they're collectively saving everyone, yearly, is pretty crazy.

If anyone at LE reads this, thank you for your work!

2
Klathmon 2 days ago 4 replies      
It sounds like everything is running fantastically for them, and I'm really glad.

LE has saved us from spending many man hours of time updating certificates across all dev, staging, and live machines across all of our servers every year (which just so happens to be almost exactly the amount of time needed to forget some of the details of what needs to be done...).

But all that being said, when are we going to see a competitor pop up? Clearly what they are doing is working, so when are we gonna see some others attempt to do this? Having all your eggs in one basket is never a good thing in any part of life (no matter how perfect that basket is).

Having more than one "Let' Encrypt" would at the very least spread out some of the risk, and might even enable them to specialize a bit more (perhaps the competitor could target the issue of wildcard certs, or be somehow tailored for the use case of needing thousands of subdomains).

Has there been anyone else trying this?

3
lunaru 2 days ago 2 replies      
Let's Encrypt + widespread SNI adoption is making it dead easy for SaaS companies like ours to host customer content on customer chosen domains. So their existence doesn't just help the technically proficient -- the "long tail" of websites published through various platforms will start seeing HTTPS as a default. And that's very much a good thing. For example, there should be no reason for publication platforms (like say Medium to pick on an example) to have such complicated custom domain + SSL configurations in the future.

The next step I'd like to see is all the $5 shared hosts supporting HTTPS by default via something like Let's Encrypt. There's really no excuse anymore.

BTW, shameless plug: We've found this process so easy that we've spun a side project out of our main SaaS project called clearalias.com. It's basically a Let's Encrypt proxy that makes it even easier to publish customer content via custom domains secured with HTTPS.

4
spiderfarmer 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that these certificates are free and the fact that it's so easy to use has enabled me to move almost all of my websites to https. A project like this really is moving the web forward.
5
sofaofthedamned 2 days ago 1 reply      
Love LE. I've got people who didn't even know about TLS to use it as a matter of course, they now see it as a badge of honour to pass the ssllabs tests with an A+. They've changed the internet for the better.
6
nickpp 2 days ago 5 replies      
Honest question: is there a catch?

Why do all the other CAs cost so much and take so long when the actual cert is generated in seconds?

Isn't that how it's supposed to work and LE is breaking the rules, thus living on borrowed time?

If it was possible to be so easy why no else did it? What is the secret ingredient?

7
Fej 1 day ago 1 reply      
My experience with Let's Encrypt hasn't been great, but that's not LE's fault. Long story short, don't use Namecheap, at the very least not their shared servers.

From their support:

"Though we believe increased web security is a good thing, we also think that using certificates from free providers can get more risk and uncertainty into your business.Additionally, we would like to draw your attention to several disadvantages and drawbacks of Let's Encrypt certificates:

1. No OV/EV support or possibility (no possibility to issue a certificate with medium or high assurance and user trust level);

2. Insufficient level of domain validation and the absence of brand validation ( All publicly trusted CAs are flagging the certificate containing IT, financial and other public words, brands etc for additional security checks, which is not applicable for LE.)

3. Short validity period (for LE certificates - only 90 days, for all trusted certificate provides - up to 39 months).

Since the nature of shared and reseller hosting implies having a significant number of independent customers' accounts on the same server instance, we cannot put at risk our other clients by enabling not fully secure technology.

These and other concerns (for example the fact that ACME-script for Let's Encrypt requires root access and is able to overwrite server configs) make us refrain from supporting Let's Encrypt on our shared servers. We hope for your kind understanding on the matter."

----------

Feel free to reply with other hosts that don't support LE, so I can avoid them (and hopefully others too!)

8
schoen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Somewhat related: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/https-deployment-growi... (my post on HTTPS deployment improvements during 2016, a whole lot of which involved Let's Encrypt)
9
artursapek 2 days ago 2 replies      
I can't think of a single person or entity that has a reason to dislike LE (except for the for-profit certificate companies, maybe).
10
ns8sl 1 day ago 0 replies      
btw there if you are not totally comfortable with certbot, there is a free monitoring service at https://letsmonitor.org
11
LinuxBender 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is there a list of major B2B and eCommerce sites using LE for their primary customer facing sites? This would be useful if our customers brought it up.

Are there any plans or water-cooler discussions around supporting wildcard or multi-sub-domain SAN wildcard certs?

12
jwilk 1 day ago 0 replies      
What does "y" mean on the graph labels?
8
Ask HN: If you were to switch career, what would you do?
420 points by bsvalley  2 days ago   799 comments top 334
1
tjic 2 days ago 13 replies      
Woodworker.

From running two small ecommerce companies I think I've learned enough about MVP, shipping, inventory management, etc.

From 25 years as a software engineer I've learned about building tools to automate steps.

I'd pick some "hard to find / expensive niche (e.g. Greene and Greene, Art Nouveau, etc.), but offer repeatable designs, not do custom work. That would allow for lots of jigs, fixtures, using cheap machines in duplicate to eliminate setup times, etc.

...and then after growing sales and shaking the bugs out of the production, I'd hire assistants to keep cranking stuff out.

Eventually I'd allow customers to start turbing a few "knobs" on products, via a website tool (this isn't too much falling back into software, is it?), which results in customized cut lists being kicked out for my assistants. Mass customization.

2
misiti3780 2 days ago 10 replies      
I would be a modern day philosopher/thinker (like Taleb, Dawkins, Harris). I would start with the classics and read everything, learn ancient Greek, Aramaic, as well as Italian, French and German (maybe Russian also, who knows)

I would study the first proof in mathematics all the way up through modern probability theory.

I would throw away my cell phone and do all of this work from a nice modern loft in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome - starting every morning with an espresso, and ending it with good food and two bottles of Red French or Italian wine.

Back to work ..

3
jawns 2 days ago 5 replies      
It's interesting that the majority of these answers are professions that pay nowhere near what a software developer's salary would be.

If the question were, "What other job would you like to do, if it paid at least as much as software development?" I could probably come up with some creative answers.

But even though I'm not particularly driven by money, given that I have a family to support, mortgage to pay, etc., I probably could not take a job right now that would significantly reduce my income.

With that constraint in mind, I suppose I would say I would return to my first career (journalism) and become an editor again. This would involve a significant drop in salary. So I would have to ramp up the time I devote to my second job. I'm an author of nonfiction books, which has been mostly a side project, but a relatively lucrative one. If I could bang out a book a year, on top of working full time as an editor, I could probably keep our household finances afloat.

4
kyoob 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'd open a bookstore/cafe that sells tech and engineering books. We'd run tech classes in a space in the back, with a discount for vets and artists looking to change careers. I'd live in the apartment above the store, with a garden on the roof. The wifi would be phenomenal.
5
olingern 2 days ago 2 replies      
I read a kuro5hin post about a programmer turned courier, "A Coder in Courierland," (http://atdt.freeshell.org/k5/story_2005_3_19_133129_548.html) and became pretty infatuated with the idea over a five or six months. The recession hit, lay offs began, and then I was a courier.

I did it for a little over three years. It had its ups and downs. I returned to software development and have found a cosier community in the Javascript realm (pre-courier, .NET).

Takeaways that stick with me till this day:

- You can develop an incredible amount of strength from just cycling.

- Air quality is a long term concern.

- (More sun + more exercise) - LEDs = great sleep

- Excessive amounts of exercise != great health

- Learn your machine, and do your own work.

- Fixed gears are extremely useful in dense traffic.

- The type of work you do affects your outlook on life.

- There is a substantial amount of pride amongst messengers who show up, especially on the worst of days. Most people tend to avoid the harsh realities of life, and everyone can learn something from just taking life one delivery or line of code at a time.

- There is something to be said for sitting on a park bench and admiring the beauty around - people, man-made, or nature.

I miss it, but don't recommend it to anyone, as it's a job that requires a lot of grit and is low paying. I wouldn't change my experience at all, though. It aged my mind and soul in a really positive way.

I will say, returning to software development raises some eyebrows. Some will scrutinize the hole in your resume, others will congratulate you on being different.

6
CIPHERSTONE 2 days ago 9 replies      
Would like to be a back country forest ranger. Someone who does work out in the remote woods. Not one of the rangers that has to deep with the public. The problem like most of us have is that our position and tenure in IT has lead to salaries that make such a change (and reduction in pay) almost impossible. Add kids, etc. and it gets set permanently in the dream category.

I know the logical response to this statement is: Reduce your needs and the reduced pay won't be an issue. While true, I don't think I am that flexible sadly.

7
fsargent 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'd be an economics teacher. I'd love to teach High School and/or College economics. Since this is my own fantasy land, I'd be able to set my own curriculum.

 1. Why do we work? (Jobs, Businesses, and the individual economy) 2. What is wealth, and how do I get it? (Saving, investment, real estate) 3. Is it supposed to be like this? (Capitalism, Government, modern political economy) 4. Systems Design (If you want to change the system, how should it work? How do we measure things that aren't money? Love, time, attention?)
I wish I'd had an education like this earlier in life.

8
mrlyc 2 days ago 4 replies      
When the tech world moved away from me (doing mainly embedded C for the last thirty years might not have been the best idea for my career), I became an aged carer for my disabled mum. I learned a lot about cleaning, gardening and adding subtitles to films as she is going deaf. I also learned a lot about editing spoken word audio files for pacing, volume and noise reduction as she wrote a memoir then recorded an audio version.

In the future, I could be an aged carer as I really like looking after people, although it doesn't pay well and there can be a lot of poo to deal with. On the other hand, one of my former managers has been working at Google for about ten years and is quite enthusiastic about my working with him there. Unfortunately, they are in California and I am in Melbourne so I'd have to move.

9
FigBug 2 days ago 8 replies      
I'd buy a sailboat and take people on tours in Greece. Except I hate people, which is why I work in tech.
10
ttcbj 2 days ago 7 replies      
1. Write children's books - because I love reading good books to my children, and if successful, the revenue scales and they have great recurring revenue potential (much better than adult books, I think).

2. Try to bring software development education to underprivileged kids in some way that eventually scales and has real career potential. There is part of me that feels this has potential, because the opportunity for self-development is so high, and the cash costs of the tools low. There is part of me that worries it is futile, because I suspect software development jobs actually require more deep and diverse basic knowledge of math and reading than I could hope for in underprivileged environments.

11
aerique 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would do some climate activism, become a crew member on a Sea Shepherd boat.

That, or help out my political party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_the_Animals) since we have elections early this year. The party's name is unfortunate and its Wikipedia description as well. It is more well-rounded than that and also is the best party in the parliament wrt privacy, civilian rights, etc. (dutch link: https://www.privacybarometer.nl/pagina/45/Actuele_stand_van_...)

And Judo, more Judo.

12
ipince 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have a few options/dreams.

1. Become a musician. I love all kinds of music and drums/percussion in particular. On the side, I'm working my way to being able to play drums+timbales for Cuban timba music. I've only been doing this for about a year and think I have a talent for it.

2. Go into criminology and/or politics. Crime is one of the biggest problems in Venezuela, with murder and kidnappings at all time highs, affecting me personally and frankly every Venezuelan. I'd heavily use technology to help me. If I can play a significant role in eradicating that problem, I'd be very proud of my life.

3. Open up a bar/restaurant. I love hosting people and providing an environment for people to have fun. Live music and a dance floor would be a must, but a nice chill lounge area should be available too. Again, I'd like to use technology, e.g. having automated beer taps that you can open with your RFID wristband or code and get automatically charged, and having something similar for standard mixed drinks (of course, I'd still keep bartenders for specialty cocktails).

I guess there are more, but these will suffice for now :)

13
tazjin 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'd open a bar/pub with good cask ale and decent electronic music.

Actually whenever I get too stressed out at work I consider doing this, I've got the necessary capital and in a city like Oslo where people don't care about beer prices it can surely be made into a profitable thing.

14
mauvehaus 2 days ago 5 replies      
Interesting timing. I'm quitting my development job at the end of the month and going back to school full-time to become a furniture maker.

I have a lot of reasons for wanting to do this. The most straightforward ones are that I want to create something tangible and enduring with my time.

15
cableshaft 2 days ago 1 reply      
I did stop being a developer for a year and a half in order to work for a video game publisher as a producer. I really enjoyed it, worked on five games (four of which were released on Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony consoles), got to go on fun business trips to game conferences, and got to meet some important people in the industry, but I got nervous not programming for that long because I thought my skills were atrophying due to lack of use.

Nowadays if I were to do it again, I'd probably go into board game design or publishing. I'm a bit more in tune with the board game industry than the video game industry nowadays. I'm actually actively working on several board game designs and trying to get my first game signed. Hopefully one or two of them will be a hit and I can afford to stop working a 9-5, maybe just do some freelance development part time on the side.

I would consider going back into video game publishing too, though.

16
ryandrake 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are two possible interpretations of this question actually:

1. What would you do if you were not worried about finances and could simply do what you most loved for a living?

2. Given your financial and career needs/desires, what would be more rewarding than your developer job?

I'd answer these two questions totally differently, and I suspect many in this thread would as well.

17
mxuribe 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not in any particular order...And, either one or some combination of the following:

* Dance music DJ or music maker - I love me some house music. (Notice I said "music maker" - i.e. a maker of tracks/songs, and not "musician"...i just don't have the formal training to play an actual instrument...however, if time travel existed, then yes a musician).

* Indie film maker / director / screenwriter / or even actor/performer.

* Custom motorcycle maker. Although custom choppers are fine and all, I'd lean towards custom made naked or cafe racer style motorbikes.

* Own/run my own little cafe - with a few small food offerings - showcasing small, local bands, and maybe even a teen dance night. (There was a local dance club that had a teen night where I grew up, and I always thought it was such a cool idea.)

18
jmsduran 2 days ago 3 replies      
I would go into finance, maybe as a CFA or some sort of investment/financial analyst. If I could go back in time and restructure my career aspirations as a teenager, I would pursue a career as a medical doctor (possibly specializing in cardiology or clinical pathology).

I don't know if this is normal, but I feel burnt out after working 6 years in the tech industry. So much so, that in my spare time I occupy myself with hobbies completely unrelated to software engineering. I enjoy reading books about finance and medicine, and have also grown an appreciation for cinema/film-making.

My side projects have definitely suffered as a result, because often times I find myself preferring to read The Economist instead.

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Arubis 2 days ago 0 replies      
The one that fits my current lifestyle: carpentry. I love woodworking but am not particularly practiced at it. Opening up a garage full of tools and building real tangible things with my hands that still exist when the lights go off has huge appeal.

The one that doesn't quite fit my lifestyle (married, love it that way, spouse has a stable job with a set location, thinking about kids): travel journalist. My wife and I have both spent a significant portion of time living and working in semi rural areas of underdeveloped countries. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and would love to get it all down on paper. But that really doesn't fit in with giving kiddos access to education, so maybe in thirty years!

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anexprogrammer 2 days ago 2 replies      
I already did after 25 years in development. I'm tempted to do a side-project or startup now after a few years away. If I was to return to tech I'd be very focused on creating real benefit and progress (think perhaps environmental, climate change, medical or learning etc), rather than a shiner bauble or "disrupting" something that really shouldn't be (internet connected kettles? Making everything a consumer replaceable).

My driver was the rant that easily followed on from the above. :) Basically wanting something more substantive, less ephemeral, more tactile. I ended up in restoration. I'm enjoying it hugely and the things I'm doing will have life of many decades, perhaps sometimes centuries.

The surprise was, even after 3 years, discovering there's still more satisfaction in physical tiredness and manual activity at the end of the day than just mental. I'd already experienced this in car restoration and various projects but assumed much was from hobby and novelty interest.

21
samsolomon 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'd be an industrial designer. I'm a product designer (software), but I have a deep appreciation for simple, beautiful things. I have no experience with CAD software, but given the time, it's definitely something I'd like to explore.

Alternatively, I'd like to be a product reviewer and write about products. This may be more attainable as I was a journalist in college and still blog occasionally.

All that said, I love designing software. Don't see myself leaving the industry anytime soon.

22
dasmoth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Something where I can immerse myself into a project for at least a few weeks without needing regular state-exchange with others. I thought programming was the thing, but does seem to be moving in a rather collectivist direction right now.

Farming and winemaking both appeal due to the feeling that you're working on something that will come to fruition months or years into the future. Tax arrangements make small-scale winemaking in the UK somewhat unattractive (beer and especially cider get better deals), but I do ponder given it a go sometimes.

23
grok2 2 days ago 2 replies      
All the carpentry-as-an-alternate-career comments here reminded me of something Fred Brooks wrote in his "The Mythical Man-Month" -- how he described programming, reminds me of carpentry (note: it's a quote from the book all the way from here):

Why is programming fun? What delights may its practitioner expect as his reward?

First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God's delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctness and newness of each leaf and each snowflake.

Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people. Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this respect the programming system is not essentially different from the child's first clay pencil holder "for Daddy's office."

Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.

Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the nonrepeating nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and sometimes both.

Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. (...)

Yet the program construct, unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.

Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.

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anabisengrin 2 days ago 4 replies      
When I leave my current job I'm going to apply for an adult course on wood working.I love to build things, and wood is the most available and easy to work with material (compared to plastic, rock or metal).

And seriously, I bought a saw, a hammer, a screwdriver last year, it got me crazy. Same as having a unix terminal and an Internet connexion.

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tehwalrus 2 days ago 3 replies      
Politics. The only way to fix the broken stuff in the world.

I have stood in a bunch of elections and lost them all. I'm not dissuaded yet.

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jly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would work in agriculture, producing food and managing honeybees (currently a hobby). I think we desperately need more small, local, sustainable farming practices which inevitably will require more individuals actually engaged with food production. I would focus my time left to advancing this practice and writing about it.

My second choice would be as a researcher in a field of biology. As many others have said, the interest in tech lends to a natural interest in how humans and other life forms work, and I'd like to explore this more. The time for this has probably passed me by, sadly.

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jeffsaracco 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'd be a baker - I've recently (as of the past year or two) started baking my own bread and find it incredibly therapeutic, fun and interesting. Maybe open up a small bakery with a cafe and if it went well expand it to teach classes on how to make bread, pizza, etc...

If anyone is also interested, I'd recommend the book Flour Water Salt Yeast (https://www.amazon.com/Flour-Water-Salt-Yeast-Fundamentals/d...) as a starting point

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FiatLuxDave 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not a developer (I'm a physicist), but someday I'd like to go into medical research. I like the idea of coming up with things that directly help suffering people. I hope that the problem solving skills I've acquired would prove useful. Of course, I'd need to go back to school for a few years to get up to speed first.

Unfortunately, I have too much to do still in the applied physics world. It takes too damn long to commercialize inventions. I'd love to move on to the next new thing, but there is no one you can just hand off an invention to; if you want to see it deployed and profitable it seems you have to carry it all the way yourself.

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SeaDude 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sitting and thinking about this for just a moment...is unnerving. I'm not convinced I could "move away from the tech world" for too long. My brain is wired to tinker and build in the digital realm, my physique is accustomed to stationary existence, I've allowed tech to build a house of cards within myself which props up my life. It gives my day structure and when I take breaks (2-3 days here and there), i'm often at a loss for what to do with my time. It takes a good week for me to find my pre-tech self, something I haven't done in 6-8 months.

If I were to quit today, I would spend time unschooling my child. Maybe along the way I could rediscover some important lessons about how to live a more physically present life.

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cafard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Teach, I suppose: high school history or English, or maybe with some brush-up, math.

(Over the years, I have earned money as busboy, stock clerk, landscape worker, driver, proofreader, copy editor, tech support worker, and developer. At this point, I don't know that my back is up to some of the manual labor, and I think that I'm too much of a wool-gatherer to be a good commercial driver. I wasn't a bad editor, but it doesn't pay well: people know when their computer systems don't work, but don't know or don't care when their texts are unreadable...)

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gravypod 2 days ago 5 replies      
Welder. It's everything that makes a skill desirable to learn. Very easy to start, impossible to master.

Pays reasonably well too if you can find work. Also most welders are people who don't put up with much BS so it's refreshing coming from pretty much any other field.

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lightedman 2 days ago 2 replies      
I do exactly that as a break from my other businesses of lighting and network installation. Mining is awesome stuff. You get outdoors, you see awesome views, you can go it solo or with friends, and if you use your brain a little bit, you can make some serious cash in a short period of time. There are tons of BLM lands with abandoned claims just waiting for someone to re-register the claim and open it back up, or lands adjacent to that claim which were never touched and possibly have tons of material the other claim couldn't get to/missed during survey.

And then you get to start your own D&D-style real-life dragon hoard and put it on display. Very few people are unimpressed by nature's splendors.

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fa17 2 days ago 4 replies      
Doctor. The idea of studying human body and saving lives fascinates me. Having said that, i think Docs should be more accountable, like for ex: they could screw up a surgery resulting in a loss of life and no one would even know about it, is something always scares me.
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gorbachev 2 days ago 3 replies      
Something with absolutely no deadlines.

Digging ditches sounds really great at times.

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jay-anderson 2 days ago 1 reply      
Music Typesetting. I've published a book and have been involved with a few related projects. I do pretty good work here. It pains me showing up to rehearsal and seeing poor quality sheet music on my stand. It's worse when these mistakes cause stoppage during rehearsals--usually easy mistakes that the person creating the end product could have fixed saving rehearsal time.
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chiph 2 days ago 2 replies      
Recreational vehicle repair. Sales are way up since the industry almost died after 2007/2008, and the manufacturers are producing crap quality in order to satisfy sales demand. It's not uncommon for someone to spend $400k on a new RV and have to take their new purchase back for a months worth of rework -- only to find out there's no service openings for 5 months.

What's stopping me is the up-front capital requirements to lease a building, hire technicians, and buy the tools & equipment needed (you can't just use an ordinary car lift on a 50,000 pound bus).

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psiops 2 days ago 2 replies      
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loocsinus 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Dentist. I was a software developer for 9 years before dental school. This year I am doing my residency. Last week, I did fillings, root canals, extractions, implants, IV sedations, and seeing medical complex patients in hospital. It felt like it's a dream.
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treehau5 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would love to be a performing artist. I can play various instruments, and am recently really loving playing Piano. Would love it if solo pianists could practice to virtuoso level and make a decent living, but sadly, they cannot. Unless you have the magical combination of proper connections, prestigious music school credentials, timing, and luck, you cannot hope to make the kind of salary I am making programming. My sister, a Soprano who went to NYU taught me this early on.

Funny story, her school call her a couple weeks back and I happened to be in the room with her, and you could tell it was some undergraduate performing some capstone research project, and he asked her "If you could tell students now one thing, what would you tell them?" to which she cynically replied, "Don't waste your time if you hope to make a living." and "Only .05% of you will go on to have successful music careers." Brutal.

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clueless123 2 days ago 3 replies      
Relief bush pilot on the Amazon jungle... Today, there is so much need for transportation of Doctors/Teachers/Helpers within villages in the Jungle. Unfortunately most of the obstacles to achieving this are purely political/Bureaucratic.
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brooklyndavs 2 days ago 0 replies      
A USATF certified coach, probably focusing on distance running with one-on-one training for adults. There are apps with algorithms that create personalized training programs for things like marathons and 1/2s but they aren't there yet. Plus, nothing is like in person human interaction for on the fly adjustments to training and for motivation.

http://www.usatf.org/Resources-for---/Coaches/Coaching-Educa...

OR

Somehow get into climate science. I almost went to school for meteorology in the early 00s but on a tour of a college atmospheric sciences department when I was 17 an old professor told me it was a hard career to get into with very limited job prospects. :(

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thasaleni 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm currently a software developer, if I'd change I would go into genetics, more like what CRISPR is doing, from programming computers to programming living beings :D
43
eel 2 days ago 4 replies      
I would love to get into structural engineering. I just can't justify the cost of school, and the end salaries are not even going to be better than a software developer's.

Or maybe be an auto mechanic. Or a woodworker/metal worker/welder. Or a farmer (seriously).

Part of me wants to embrace the city and "book" knowledge to further my career, and part of me wants to abandon it and go back to a rural life and just make/repair things.

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simonebrunozzi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am tempted to partially abandon my career in cloud computing to start a business that... well, has the aim to build better (new) cities.

I wouldn't start with a city, though (disclaimer: I'm not a multi-billionaire), but probably with the individual building. I want to dramatically change the "footprint" of the building in terms of : ecology/sustainability, cost, value for the people investing in the real estate property.

If that's successful, I'd like to then up the target to changing whole "new" cities.

I fully appreciate how crazy and over-ambitious this might sound. Curious to hear any feedback or comment/questions about it.

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p333347 2 days ago 1 reply      
Indie movie maker (with story, screenplay, editing, cinematography, directing and money all being mine so that I am in total control of creativity). Making movies has been a long time dream for me. I will do that when I am older and have enough time and finances to experiment, more than what I have been able to so far. And when I do that successfully, I would be simply swapping software & moviemaking for what is profession and what is hobby.
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khedoros1 2 days ago 1 reply      
I imagine that I could be happy building wood furniture. Or maybe becoming a car mechanic. I think that I'd still like to either make or repair something, if I wasn't going to be a software developer.
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hydandata 1 day ago 1 reply      
I do not think there is a single field more interesting than programming today. I do not mean Developer, as in Java Developer, I mean programmer, somebody who uses computers to do what was not possible before. So I would still do programming, but more meaningfully.

Speculation here, the Einstein of this century will be a programmer.

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morgante 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I'd had the opportunity to work in finance/IB for at least a little while. It's something I was always interested in, but would have taken more work to break into (vs. getting great-paying jobs for tech pretty much right out of high school).

Or consulting. I think I'd pick up interesting skills there. I might still follow this path by getting my MBA.

My biggest frustration is that professionally it's very easy to top out in tech. I'm still quite young and already make more than most developers. Really the only way to significantly level up professionally is to take on more risk (by founding a company).

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SteveNuts 2 days ago 1 reply      
Something outside. Maybe work in a state park, doing tours and educating children about the outdoors.

I have fond memories of going on field trips to state parks in elementary school.

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sidcool 2 days ago 1 reply      
Physicist. I love applied math. I love to explore and understand how everyday things work. And I love Richard Feynman.
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meigwilym 2 days ago 2 replies      
I live on the edge of a national park. In summer they advertise for Wardens to help with patrolling the park, on a voluntary basis.

If I could afford it I'd happily code for 6 months of the year, then be a warden for the rest.

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NumberCruncher 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would never leave the tech world entirely. I would shift focus from coding and solving bullshit issues generated by business people to dealing more with real people solving real problems. I have ideas how to do that in a fun way but I am not there yet.

I think coding is really fun and creative occupation if you can decide what you code and when you code. I know if I would make my dream come true and would teach teenagers self defense I would end up spending my nights coding the website of my dojo by myself...

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quizzas 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Guitar player in a band, either rhythm or lead2. Study and compose (not lyricist!)

I can spend all day playing my guitar and jamming with other passionate musicians from all walks of life. I would love to take the time to explore jazz, blues and classic rock. I have guitars and I just don't seem to make enough time for them.

Unfortunately, I don't believe I'll make any real money in this space, so my assumption is that food and board is paid for by a patron so I can play music publicly in return.

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ultra-jeremyx 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would become a full-time MUT runner (mountain/ultra/trail) and adventurer like Kilian Jornet (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-t...) or Karl Meltzer, who broke the fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail this past summer here in the U.S.
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randcraw 2 days ago 0 replies      
If we're really dreaming, then I'd like to go back in time 30 years to write a monthly column for 80s/90s era tech fanzines like Creative Computing, WiReD, or InfoWorld.

I'd describe the science behind a different technology each issue and interleave an interviews with pros in that space about why it's hot or not -- like "Mathematical Games" a la Martin Gardner, but set in a a more cultural context that made the most of the gogo enthusiasm that infused those heady days.

Computing was a blast then.

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tmclaugh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I moved to product marketing. I have the benefit of working for a company that makes a product for ops engineers which was my previous role as well as exposure to marketing concepts from working at a marketing tech company previously. I understand the product audience in ways that traditional marketers do not and I understand our marketers in ways that most engineers do not.

It's fun and it's a nice change of pace. I've retained some engineering responsibilities. So what might be a passion project for someone on an engineering team, I develop something and then start writing blog content to help educate our audience around the subject. Our product has the ability to fire a JSON doc at an endpoint which gives you the ability to integrate us with other systems... To many ops engineers can't write a web service to bridge us with that other system. So, I'll write a small service and then after it's up on GitHub I'll write a tutorial and walkthrough of the service. If you just download what I wrote and run it, awesome. I've helped solve a customer issue. If you take my blog post and learn to write your own service, that's even better!

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fredley 2 days ago 2 replies      
Painter (of canvasses, not of fences). It does occur to me sometimes that I could sink everything into a small cottage somewhere and live very simply, trying to make it as a small-time, local artist. It usually occurs to me shortly afterwards how quickly I'd (probably) get bored.
58
zbuf 2 days ago 2 replies      
Lawyer. With years of building and debugging code I find the logical aspects of the law rather interesting. Though the amount of reading, less so.
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drakonka 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I would work with animals; maybe at a cat shelter, or have a pet "hotel", or maybe a dog daycare or walking service. Animal welfare laws are very strong here and dog owners aren't allowed to leave their dog alone for more than four hours at a time. This means there is a lot of potential business for dog daycare and walking services since not everyone can take their dog to work with them or come home for lunch. But basically anything involving taking care of or helping animals would do.
60
gwbas1c 2 days ago 1 reply      
Build high-end speakers. I really enjoy it and I like the idea of high-end speakers that you can just plug into your TV and they "just work" without juggling remotes.
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stevekemp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Plumber. Locksmith. Similar.

Jobs that you can do at your own pace, and with the kind of SEO skills I have I'm sure I'd do well. Plus these kind of jobs cannot be out-sourced.

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pc86 2 days ago 2 replies      
Flight instructor/local commercial pilot. The pay is garbage compared to software development but if you're an independent CFI there is as much time freedom as there is being a remote dev, and the pay is still good enough to cover all the necessities.
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edw519 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stand-up comic.

I would never have to write a thing. After all these years in enterprise I.T., I have enough material for life.

I'll just tell them stories from real life at work. I doubt I could write anything nearly as funny as what actually happened.

Example:

 Jimmy: I closed 7 tickets this week. How'd you do? Kim: I had a bad week. I opened 2. Boss: We have too many open tickets! Kim: Don't blame Jimmy and me. We closed 5.
(I'll be here all day, folks.)

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milge 2 days ago 0 replies      
Metal Fabrication. I've actually been taking metal classes for the last 6 months and just finished my first pair of motorcycle foot pegs on the CNC machine last night.
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kageneko 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since early in college, my 2nd choice has always been psychology -- so much that I went back to school to finish up a BA in Psychology. I would focus on either cognitive or industrial/organizational psychology. With cognitive, I'd focus on motivation. With two children, I'm always wondering what motivates them to do the things they do. In I/O, I'm looking at workplace optimization and comfort -- mostly comfort.
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collyw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Civil Engineer. I love the scale of huge projects like dams and the challenges that they bring. Watching a documentary the other day about the new Chernobyl Safe Confinement shelter was fascinating (they couldn't use wheels as the structure was to heavy for ball bearings).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_New_Safe_Confinement

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OkGoDoIt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I mostly left tech last April to help run a performance theater and a speakeasy. I do everything from lighting/wiring, ticketing, marketing, bar tending, helping as a stagehand, running spotlights, etc. I get to hang out with magicians, circus performers, burlesque dancers, and all sorts of interesting people with interesting stories. It's been a lot of fun and fulfilling in a way, especially since I've never had a public-facing job before. Definitely uncomfortable the first time you sell concessions or deal with upset parents due to someone else's failure to include mature content warning on event descriptions. Overall it's been an amazing experience.

But also I make peanuts compared to what I used to and I'm basically living on savings, so I'll probably end up going back to tech eventually. My best friend with less development skills than me just got a job for over $200k, so I can't help but feeling I've fallen off the track rather than made a positive life change.

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palerdot 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm actually thinking of switching into video editing career slowly, just as a backup for my current programming profession. The reason is I'm not sure whether I can survive as a competitive programmer in my late 30s and also I think I kind of like editing.
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towndrunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Homebuilder building unique semi-modern homes not the typical 5 4 and a door. I have remodeled several homes doing everything myself including electrical, plumbing and even structural. I love working with tools and heavy equipment.
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david927 2 days ago 0 replies      
Film maker. I'd like to write and direct short films (initially -- maybe moving to feature length later). Maybe also write and produce plays.

Until that happens, I think the next step is to write and produce a play at my local theater.

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satysin 2 days ago 2 replies      
Therapist/counsellor. I love technology/coding/hacking but what gives me the best feeling is helping someone on a personal level. I have realised (from having been told) I am a good listener and I think I would have done quite well in some kine of mental health role. Not a full on doctor but someone who listens and helps a person during difficult times.
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jenkstom 2 days ago 2 replies      
Very easy... finish paramedic school. EMS is the perfect antidote for a lifetime of sedentary computer programming. Plus, you get to work with people - or at least you'd better learn how to work with people.
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dark_ph0enix 2 days ago 1 reply      
Baker. Been baking as a hobby for a few years now and it's the one thing that I keep coming back to, no matter how much life changes.
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ainiriand 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am slowly working towards becoming a fiction writer. At the moment I am a software engineer and I feel I can make it if I put enough effort into it. My specialties are psychological terror and sci-fi.
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johnhenry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Politics. I feel like the world is in a state such that I need to try to change it personally. Incidentally, is it safe to assume that most hackernews readers are developers? I'm a developer, but I wonder what other readers do in their day to day lives? Perhaps people from other fields looking to transition into development?
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rcazangi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always liked the idea of being a small farmer. In particular, a tea farmer.

Most recently I have enjoyed doing physical therapy with my dog -- so that'd be another option.

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anotherarray 2 days ago 3 replies      
Something that doesn't have a process or technique.

Something that can be done out of my heart.

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readme 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did. I'm in the military. I was a linguist but I'm switching over to a cyber security role now. When I get out I'm going to work in the industry again, but with a focus on security. Previously, I just worked on web/mobile apps.
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heurist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Artist - currently trained in code, oil paints, and poetry (to a lesser extent). At the moment my creativity is bounded only by time, money, and a certain lack of technical expertise that would be gained through focused practice.

Scientist - researching complexity and complex systems, my longest-standing passion. I hope to one day contribute significantly to the study of cognition and artificial intelligence.

Politician - after thoroughly studying mathematics, economics, and law. I have strong opinions on humanity's direction and my views are not well represented in US government.

I haven't ruled out any of these for a future life. I'm hoping entrepreneurship will earn me enough cash while I'm still young to fund my future escapades.

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mkrajnak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Rocket scientist. My brother is a propulsion system engineer working at ULA, over the years he's been on the Delta III, Atlas V, and now Vulcan. We compare jobs all the time, both have lots of politics and stress, but he wins hands down on sheer awesomeness.
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contingencies 2 days ago 0 replies      
The "what job would you do" question suffers from framing problems. I have always been interested in multiple domains, and have found ways to explore a lot of the responses others have given here (photography, film-making, music, cooking, writing, entrepreneurship) to varying levels. Right now I am trying to learn about physical product design, manufacturing processes and mechanical engineering, re-stringing a sitar, organizing an exhibition of my regionally focused antiques prints and photos collection with a commercial sales element, about to go cycling at 2000m in the Himalayan sun,[0] pick up a German loaf from a friend who did the (also mentioned by others) open-a-German-bakery thing here in southwest China. Yesterday I discovered a mislabeled antique photo online, researched the hell out of it, determined it to be an early and very rare panorama of a major city (after detailed research on three major regional cities in the 19th century), and decided to bid on it, scan it, then re-sell it for cash to a museum. Life is good... for me personally, though it's not always easy taking a less safe route, especially sporadically returning to see friends and family with the play-it-safe approach, nice comfortable investments and cashflow (but absolutely a fraction of life experience) ... once you embrace it you can't go back to 9-5 - except that in the worst case, you can.

[0] https://duckduckgo.com/?q=weather+kunming

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patryn20 2 days ago 0 replies      
Focused, neighborhood context-sensitive and environmentally conscious real estate development. The goal would be to replace the typical boring stick-built midrise, minimal setback, blank sided commercial and residential you see being built in most cities. With a stated goal of providing space for existing businesses being displaced by the new development as well as public spaces when possible.

Yeah, my returns wouldn't necessarily be as high, but at least it would improve the neighborhood without unduly displacing the things that made the neighborhood desirable in the first place. Or being a generic, overpriced pile of blank like most modern pop-up construction.

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spicytunacone 2 days ago 0 replies      
I must say right now I'm pretty envious of even semi-prolific broadcasters. For example, stream 4-6 hours regularly of me massing ladder in a competitive game while interacting with other prominent members of the community (who probably have their own streams so we essentially advertise for each other) injecting the occasional few hours of variety streaming that I can even utilize from time-to-time to develop personal interests, e.g., play guitar.

Of course, the best strategy here would be make it on a proteam and become a personality. This has the added pros of my daily needs and equipment being maintained for me while in the roster (and probably better health benefits than I have now if I get a gym membership to regularly exercise and, also, no team wants an "injured" player). Whether I win a big prize pool or not, I then secure some momentum for my stream. I don't see my stint lasting for more than 2-4 years for either some external or intrinsic reason, but options are pretty open from there. If I made near the amount the top, say, 30% make, then I estimate I have a healthy cushion for at least a couple more years given my relatively modest desires. I can go back to the tech world (honestly I'll probably still contribute to open-source projects even during this period), become a content creator of a different kind or use my clout/connections I've built to find my way in a similar scene.

More than I expected to type for this prompt.

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PascLeRasc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely theater tech, especially audio work and sound design. I loved it all through high school and it was fixing old sound boards that got me into electrical engineering where I am now. But I'd love to do theater sound full-time forever.
85
soundwave106 2 days ago 2 replies      
Craft beer brewer would probably be the first choice. I already homebrew, and I actually think it's possible to envision a profit-making craft brewery (even as crowded as the marketplace is these days).

I'm also a musician (synthesizers / piano) with enough skills to play in cover bands in the past. But that's a very difficult market to break into, and the types of jobs that actually make good money either aren't usually the type of music I'd really want to play, and / or are a market that I'm too old to enter, and / or are well beyond my current skillset. It's a good hobby to pass the time with though.

86
creeble 2 days ago 0 replies      
8th grade science teacher. In a private school, where I can use lots of fire.

I figure if I can inspire one or two pupils into truly understanding thermodynamics, maybe -they- could change (or save?) the world. Doesn't seem like I'm going to.

87
jharger 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find this question kind of hard to answer, because there are so many things I'd love to try. Though I'm an introvert, I'd love to try bar tending or waiting tables for the social aspect of it. I'd love to try out really small scale farming or herding goats to get away from tech entirely. Law (tax or business law, not something like criminal) is fascinating to me too.

If I was really forced to choose, though, it would be art or writing. The idea of capturing ideas and feelings, or creating worlds, characters and stories in visual or word form has a lot of appeal to me. That's probably why I make video games as a hobby.

88
frenchman_in_ny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Such a timely question -- not in the tech world (banking/finance), finding myself fairly dissatisfied & feeling like I've been doing the same thing in a loop for the last 10 years, and I have no idea what to do next.
89
paulrpotts 2 days ago 0 replies      
This sort of depends on whether I had the "money problem" solved or not.

Assuming I magically had enough saved to pay for all my family's housing and food and assorted expenses with passive income, then I would probably work on the following:

- Several book projects that are in the pipeline, one near completion

- Podcast production projects, maybe a business like Dan Benjamin's 5x5

- Work with homeschool groups to teach classes on electronics

- Possibly run a small maker space

- Maybe go back to school (at nearly 50) and study some things I'm interested in: architecture, some upper-level mathematics?

- Teach again at a university level (with guaranteed income, I could afford to be an adjunct and teach programming)

90
Frondo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Musician. Knowing what I know about marketing and outreach, and seeing how my musician friends falter at getting the word out and getting the money, I would have no problem making a decent living playing music for cash.
91
mathw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not that I'm saying I'm capable of it, but basically I'd want to move into doing my hobbies for a living.

I'm an aikido instructor already, but making a living from it is not very easy (and incredibly poorly paid compared to programming). Also I'm not sure I'd like it so much if it was my entire career.

I'm also a musician, but I'm not good enough to make a living performing or teaching. I might be able to if I had funds for two or three years of intensive practice, training and bloody hard work beforehand I suppose.

But yeah, in dreamworld I would make my living from a mixture of aikido, music and some code on the side, because honestly I'd never want to give it up entirely.

92
bpyne 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to teach Music and CS somewhere in grades K-12. I'm not sure which age group right now. During Summer breaks from school, I'd gig, write code, and try to refine my teaching skills.
93
jdmoreira 2 days ago 1 reply      
- Film director or screenwriter

- Electronic musician (Just hardware, no software involved)

- Cartoonist / Illustrator

I lack the skills for all of them but at least I'm allowed to fantasise :)

I don't regret being a programmer though, computers are probably my favourite thing.

94
geff82 2 days ago 1 reply      
While I am happy with being in IT... If I could try something completely different, I would do "Iranian Studies" at the university of Marburg, which is nearby as I have some unexplainable love for Iranian culture and language (to the point I found a girl from there and married her). I'd try to work in research at university or as a consultant for businesses that are interested in the country.

The other boy dream not come true (but still dreamed): being a pilot, preferably for cargo planes or other mid-sizes special missions.

95
dorfsmay 2 days ago 0 replies      
Accountant! The only use of pure math in real life!

No pesky real world to mingle with your results, if a cent is missing it is because somebody took it. Also, when 0 = 0, you know when you're done!

96
shawnmgoulet 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would do good. I would build homes for veterans or work for my local non-profit that supplies dogs to support veterans having a tough transition back to civilian life. Or I would work with the diabetes type 1 JDRF so that my wife would no longer have to worry about her glucose levels. I would support teachers the right way, supplying them with proper training for 21st century skills so that kids are inspired to learn, learn, learn. Because I believe that doing good is very much needed right now in our world.
97
bjelkeman-again 2 days ago 0 replies      
I started on a journey towards sustainable agriculture, working with dessert coast greenhouses. But got sucked back in to work on data systems for international development, which has been quite a success so far.
98
JDiculous 2 days ago 2 replies      
Entrepreneurship. It's a lot of upfront work, but you've got the ultimate upside in terms of money, control over one's lifestyle, impact, and fulfillment.

But more realistically, I'd probably pursue product management because it seems interesting and isn't hard to transition into as a developer.

If I didn't have to worry about money, then I'd be trying to make the world a better place, doing things like spreading awareness of and advocating for a basic income.

99
mtberatwork 2 days ago 0 replies      
Astronomer, if we are talking about quitting completely. It's what I wanted to be as a kid. If we are talking about quitting for a "little while", then I'd just go travel the US with my mountain bike and hit up any and all trails I can get my hands on ala Craig Bierly [1] and become some kind of cliche bike blogger.

[1] http://runutsadventures.com/bike/

100
drcross 2 days ago 0 replies      
Doctor. Since no one has said it yet. My fascination of machines has turned inwards as I've gotten older and the mysteries of our bodies are still waiting to be discovered.
101
gkya 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a 24 yrs old humanities student which spent two years self teaching programming, but decided to pursue sth. else as while programming is fun, the industry for the most part very boring. If I could, I'd become an architect. I love buildings, I often get tripped on the street because I'm watching the houses, the shops etc. And in my childhood I had the chance: my parents begged me to go to the architectural schoo (a vocational secondary), then they forced me, but I was stupid and I went to the normal lyce. I just love buildings, but in the other hand, I know that I wouldn't be able to work with the kind of them I adore, masonry beauties. So I'm kind of happy that I didn't become an architect given I'd have the same situation as my software attempt: big contrast between the ideals that drive me and the economic reality. I would love to do interior design though, I guess I'll try my luck in it after graduating from uni next year.
102
Stoo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Writer for roleplaying games. Either as a game / setting designer or writing adventures.
103
Tasboo 2 days ago 1 reply      
HVAC. I love figuring out proper air flow for some reason and have made modifications to the ducts at my house. I could see myself doing that stuff for a living.
104
tdy721 2 days ago 1 reply      
Advanced Cash Crop Agriculture.

I've also always liked the idea of being a welder or machinist. Whatever it is, it must satisfy my need to tinker and experiment.

105
taway_1212 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wonder if asking such question (and inspecting answers given) is not enough to refute the idea behind basic income - that it allows people to retrain into their desired profession, thus making the society more productive. Seeing that most people desire only a relatively small subset of careers (and almost no one want to be for example a dentist, an accountant, not to mention telemarketer or toilet cleaner), I don't think it's going to work.
106
nathan_f77 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've thought about doing something like Lester from American Beauty, where he just quits his job and works at a fast food restaurant. Maybe just for a few months. I've never worked at a cafe or a restaurant so I want to see what that's like. I think I will start a cafe with my wife one day, so it would be good for me to have some personal experience.

I don't think I could contribute much to an NGO if I had to leave my technical skills at the door. But that's certainly a domain that I'm interested in.

I would also love to do something in the film industry. I would start as an assistant, and eventually do something with special effects. I also enjoy editing.

Maybe writing. I don't think I'm a very talented writer, but I might try to write a novel one day. I've tried to write a few screenplays for short films, and so far they've just been awful. It's a lot of fun, though.

107
d_burfoot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Political philosopher and social critic, in the spirit of Taleb and Moldbug.

Our civilization desperately needs independent thinkers of this type. The problem is that the people who get paid to do this for a living are all hopelessly compromised by the institutional structures they inhabit (universities, newspapers, right-wing think tanks, etc)

One idea I would promote is geopolitical vacation as a third-path way to deal with refugee and immigrant crises. My claim is that geographically large countries like Canada, Australia, the US and Russia have no serious need whatsoever for the vast lands they have claimed. So they should take some of that land and vacate it to make room for refugees and immigrants. It doesn't need to be a lot of space: city-states like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai prove unquestionably that prosperous and wealthy societies can be built in physically small territories.

108
dvcrn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Something creative while at the same time completely opposite to what I do now. Probably become a presenter, video content creator or entertainer.

I'm shy, suck in presentations and am not very funny. Plus I work all day from my laptop without talking much.

So naturally I really really want to do the opposite, work creatively on a show to tackle that, talk in front of big audiences of people and entertain people. Maybe YouTube.

109
lyricwai 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would like to be a painter.

I used to learn to paint during the whole my childhood, but I gave up to be a painter and switched to be a tech guy.

I really like paint and I do some doodles in the weekend now.

110
curun1r 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be a SCUBA instructor. I almost decided to take a few years off to do it so I could dive full time and put in as much time around live coral while there still is some, but an injury sidetracked me.

There's really nothing like living in some beautiful, tropical place where you get to spend a ton of time in nature. And diving regularly makes me feel 10 years younger.

111
tomtompl 2 days ago 3 replies      
Car mechanic / electronic
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projectramo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love to watch the "grass is greener on the other side" effect.

Other jobs always seem easier, more rewarding, more exciting till you try them.

113
fapjacks 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be an astronomer. I worked in an observatory once and it was far and away the most interesting and awesome job I ever had. But I have no degree, so I'd spend some time in school first. If that didn't work out, I'd like to assist the effort currently underway in Mosul. That's just me being honest.
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pcsanwald 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've worked professionally as both a musician and a technologist since my teens, I'm 40 now. I used to want to be a musician, but I realized that, like technology, there's really a zillion different kinds of careers you can have as a musician, and I was really only interested in a few of those.

Some people love music so much that they are happy making their living any way they can involving music, including teaching, playing weddings, and other functions. I've done a lot of this, and ultimately am not happy doing it.

Even though I loved touring as a musician, most of my friends that made their living touring have retired from it and gone on to do something else, as the road life makes it pretty difficult to have a "normal" family life.

I've often asked myself what I'd want to do if I weren't a technologist, and I always come back to doing something with my hands.

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Disruptive_Dave 1 day ago 0 replies      
Possibly a combination of two things. I'd like to teach meditation to children and young adults. I'd also like to pursue stand-up comedy and other comedic efforts.
116
robinhood 2 days ago 1 reply      
If I were to quit technology, I would try to find something that keeps me as far away of a screen as possible. For instance, quitting the tech world to become, say, an accountant, where I would still looking at a screen all day long, seems useless to me.

This would therefore probably be a profession where I either see a lot of people (doctor?) or use my hands (carpenter).

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67726e 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm tired of busting my ass for a bunch of corrupt businessmen. I'd either be a bartender and do music in my free time, or join the military[0] as I'd rather let someone else make the decisions. Being "smart" is starting to feel more and more like a burden on my well being.

[0] I realize the irony given the "corrupt businessmen" comment.

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innot 2 days ago 0 replies      
The world seems full of possibilities that would be interesting to check. Doing all forms of art, travelling without destination goals, learning chemistry and making my own boat. I'd change my name to Alexander Shulgin. Or perhaps Genesis C-Ereal.If the technology revolution stops happening, we should move to the original path.
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nojvek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would go into manufacturing. My dad has a stake in a steel mill. Heavy industries and robots fascinate me.

But right now even though I'm in tech, I can't afford my rent or be able to afford a house. I feel very unsuccessful hitting 30s.

120
swasheck 2 days ago 0 replies      
Though not a developer (I'm a production DBA), I'd like to move toward a career in sustainable development in developing nations. I think that water and sanitation would be what I'd like to focus on, though I'd wager that social policy would need to be a large part of it as well.
121
ndstephens 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting. I see a lot of interest in woodworking/carpentry. Also read a surprising number of people talking about film. I started in film. Evolved into carpentry/metal fab. I'm now starting my career in programming. I'm excited about all the ways that programming is NOT carpentry or film.
122
byoung2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Travel writer/photographer: I travel enough for pleasure as it is, I could probably do this as a side gig, but doing it full time would be interesting.

Indy rapper: My favorite artists are all YouTube stars (Futuristic, Devon Terrell, Kyle KiD), and I have some talent for music and I've been freestyle rapping in my car for decades. I could bring a unique perspective to rap as a black software engineer turned rapper (from python to gettin my rhyme on?).

Motivational speaker: My first career was teaching so I have experience with public speaking. Specifically I'd like to create a series of seminars that teach people how to negotiate pay raises. I'm horrified when I hear about people who don't negotiate, or accept 3% raises. I have averaged an 20% increase annually over the past 10 years and I think I can teach others to do the same.

123
ramonvillasante 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sustainable development,https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_developmentchoosing topics and skills you are passionate about. It's fantastic for people, planet and yourself
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8draco8 2 days ago 0 replies      
A truck (lorry) driver ideally in the states. I found something oddly relaxing about driving, full throttle, 18 wheeler down the road through Rocky Mountains or Alps. I actually have lorry driving licence (C class here in EU), I need only one class higher (C+E) to drive a proper 18 wheeler.
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rodolphoarruda 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would run a "wellness" center with various activities. I'm a Aikido black belt, so giving classes would be my "technical contribution" aside from running the business. I have a special attraction to wellness topics: meditation, massage, therapies etc.
126
yellow_viper 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am doing this right now...I've been a graphic designer/web developer for 10 years. Half way back at my first year at uni to get my CS Degree and (hopefully) end up working with AI.

You guys are not instilling me with a lot of confidence however.

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mindcrime 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good question. At one time I considered going back to school and getting a degree in Exercise and Sports Science and doing something related to athletic training. And I wrestled in high-school and have always thought I might one day want to do something with coaching wrestlers or something. So maybe some combination of that stuff.

I also spent a lot of time in my life as a volunteer firefighter and was an instructor with qualifications to teach Firefighter I & II certification classes, as well as Incident Command and LP Gas Firefighting. I love that world, especially the teaching part. So something related to teaching and emergency services could be appealing. The problem is, there's not a lot of money to be made doing that stuff, except at the higher levels.

128
truebosko 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would love to open a classic diner.

Not a grease trap, but quality, but familiar breakfasts, great sandwiches, home-made pies. Superb diner coffee.

A place welcoming to anyone, young, old, family, friends.

Software Development is great. It's been a fun ride, and I've made some amazing friends, learned many skills, and of course, took in a salary that helps pay bills.

Eventually, it'd be nice to try this. There's a rush, and a large challenge to running a restaurant, but a diner brings a simpler focus. It might be a pipe dream, but since I'm not planning to execute on it any time soon, I will continue dreaming :)

129
msoad 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same thing, maybe more machine learning.

Our jobs are amazing! Every minute we're solving a problem that probably hasn't solved before. It wasn't solved in our work context for sure. I can't imagine doing a job that is repetitive. Even teaching seems repetitive.

130
ohstopitu 2 days ago 0 replies      
build modern versions of classic cars.

It's a passion of mine (and probably something I'd do for fun in the future) to get an old mustang (preferably ~1964) and convert it into a modern car (electric, heated/cooled seats, power windows etc.)

oh and build competition grade racing drones.

and be a tech reviewer.

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Fnoord 2 days ago 0 replies      
An appropriate lyric about this would be Nick Drake - One Of These Things First [1].

I'd love to be a farmer, a painter, a philosopher, a writer, a chef, or a combination of that. However since the world is changing so much due to technology, I'm not sure how feasible or enjoyable those jobs would be in the 21st century.

I find it a bit pointless to think too much about it, since its unrealistic, unless you're interested in changing. For good or worse I'm gonna stick to development for the upcoming years. Who knows what's next though.

[1] https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nick+drake+-+one+of+these+things+f...

132
PeanutNore 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd build semi-custom vacuum tube guitar and bass amplifiers and effects. I've built a few for myself and it's fascinating and rewarding. I enjoy the technology, the theory, the process, and the finished product.
133
preordained 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor/instructor. I'd need some years back to be anywhere near the level I should be for that. I don't think I could switch to anything (significantly different) right now with a realistic chance of keeping afloat.
134
krrishd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested in working in media and/or politics given how significant their impacts are (and how rapidly things are changing).

It'd be far less likely to work out but I'd also love to be able to professionally produce music.

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ZeroFries 2 days ago 0 replies      
Run some kind of a brick and mortar: a place to relax.eg: Float tanks, hot-cold spa/sauna house, kava/kratom bar, ASMR type stuff, meditation, massages. Anything which has been shown to help people relax.
136
eastbayjake 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd run for governor or be a lawyer. My favorite part of software engineering has been systems thinking and either of those professions give you ample opportunity to design and explore systems. (I wanted to be a lawyer in college but the Great Recession -- and an astoundingly high number of lawyers saying it's a terrible idea to become a lawyer -- scuttled that idea. Software engineering exercises the same *STJ personality type proclivity for rules and systems.)

And I know it's not a "career" but being a gentleman scholar would be even more fun...

137
jhwhite 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to be a teacher. That's what I wanted to do originally but I gave in to family pressure and majored in computer information systems. I've enjoyed the career, but I sometimes I really wish I had gone into education.
138
rocky1138 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've always thought being a dictator would be an easy way to get things done.
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jdc0589 2 days ago 0 replies      
Probably a custom/bespoke leatherworker. I sell stuff as http://www.vulcancrafting.com on the side now, I'd love to do it full time.
140
xedarius 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like creating things and I like entertaining people, that's why I originally became a games programmer. I love cooking, mostly for the same reasons. I think I would be a chef at a fancy restaurant or maybe a restaurant of my own.
141
JDDunn9 2 days ago 0 replies      
Urban planner. I'd love to try to create my version of a utopian city (no non-essential vehicles allowed, built for the pedestrian/cyclist/subway) the way they are building new cities in China or Dubai.
142
tuananh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I will be a farmer.

I love farming and growing stuff.

143
cprayingmantis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well a couple years ago my answer to this would've been very different, but now I have a wife and I have to give her some consideration. I'd probably just go back to the family business of farming. I would probably only make 60-80% of what I do now but it'd be debt free and I'd be on my own terms. I'd have to become a morning person all over again but I know how to do the work and I find it particularly enjoyable. Plus maybe I could tinker with my dream of a self driving electric tractor a little more.
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phaus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a security analyst. I love my job, but if I thought I could make a decent living doing it, I would focus on calligraphy, the restoration of vintage writing implements, and art.
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mnemotronic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Glassblowing. I've been doing software professionally since 1978. When I first started learning programming I was amazed how easy it was, and how hard it seemed for everyone else. 35 years later I tried glassblowing (hot-shop, not torch) and had the same experience.

Unfortunately I can't afford to pursue my hot glass dreams. My second job is providing palliative care for my wife. That takes up more than my paycheck and most of my time when I'm not writing code.

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tluyben2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I invest the money I earn as a programmer into what I would like to do after; so far a brew pub/restaurant since a few months which also contains my computer museum. I am adding a pizza oven which is the thing I am most interested in; making the best possible pizza. And yes, during the summer here (which is long) that is competitive with programming pay if done well. Not that this would be a money thing; I just want something else to do if I ever start hating code. I love coding so I am sure that after it I will move back to it but who knows.
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Pica_soO 2 days ago 1 reply      
Open a german bakery somewhere non-german.
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svanderbleek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Research Mathematician. I'm going to try anyway but I doubt I'll even make it to grad school and the career prospects for an average mathematician to do research near full time are dim.
149
wyldfire 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've thought about the concept of a business in private education for (older) kids for software/computer science.

And I've never spent any time with music but I think it would be a really enjoyable endeavor.

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kem 2 days ago 2 replies      
Weird to read this, because I'm thinking of switching into software development.

But if I were going to switch into something else, it would probably be something involving the outdoors, with a tangible physical aspect to it. Surveying?

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johnward 2 days ago 0 replies      
Something physical. That's the one thing I miss in the IT world. Being chained to my desk for 60 hour weeks is putting a toll on my body and mind. I'm only 30 and I feel wore out from this field. The money is OK but It provides happiness to my family. The construction workers I know can make more on a good year. Plus they get laid off for weeks or months at a time. I've never been off for more than two weeks since I was 14 so that sounds amazing to me.
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planteen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd love to work in an underground hard rock mine. Being under the surface has always fascinated me. One of my favorite hobbies is caving. I live in Denver, so the Henderson mine isn't too far away...
153
echelon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anybody in Atlanta interested in film?

I use almost all of my spare time to pursue my hobbies, and this year I want to get started learning filmmaking.

I'd like to incorporate programming with filmmaking, too. I've had an idea for programmatically switching between several cuts of a scene based on user input and other variables. With enough shots and a clever enough script, one might be able to turn a film into a game.

If there's anybody locally into film, I'd love to buy you a coffee and see if we might be able to work together.

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Balgair 2 days ago 0 replies      
Surf-instructor.

Surfing all day long could be a lot worse. You'd have to teach mostly tourists, but then you get to talk with people from all over the world too. Read the rythm of the waves a

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plinkplonk 1 day ago 0 replies      
(Fiction) Author.

It is very difficult to get published, and till you do, it is very hard to make 'rent and food' money (leave alone serious money) out of it (and sometimes not even then. Most non bestseller authors have day jobs), but if I couldn't be a developer for some reason, that is what I'd do.

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nvarsj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Games. It's what got me into tech in the first place - developing MUDs, building games in QBASIC when I was a kid, playing board games like Hero Quest. It's the only thing that really excites me. I especially love roguelikes these days.
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return0 2 days ago 1 reply      
- Architect (of buildings)

- Farmer (been there; my fallback option)

- That person who works in the IS18 infrasound station that detects nuclear explosion sound waves in Greenland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vULUkp7Ttss) or something similarly monk-ish. I could be a monk but i cant stand religion.

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koevet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Photography (fashion/portrait)

I gave myself a target: to have my first paying client by end of April 2017. I have been photographing for 20 years, did some paid work here and there, but never found the cojones to move 100% to photography as a job.

I'm very comfortable doing my 8-5 job as dev/architect in a large financial institution. I have lost pretty much any interest and I want to do something I like. I hope my plan works out :)

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wastedhours 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chocolatier. Nearly went into it before taking this job, but the numbers didn't add up and wanted to try a different city. Whenever I've had a hard day I was wonder what if... It's easy and therapeutic, and a great conversation starter. A few examples http://stevefarnworth.com/channel/taste
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gambiting 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work as a C++ programmer. I wouldn't mind being a professional driver, even driving a taxi would be fine for me. I could work as a professional interpreter(I speak two languages fluently and have some official qualifications). I would love to have a bike and/or car repair shop. I would like to try being a park ranger and doing physical work outside.

Basically, anything that doesn't involve staring at a screen all day long.

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astrange 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always wanted to do translation - but video game translator is another job that doesn't pay well since everyone wants to do it, so this pays better.

Other issue is how much thinking about code has ruined my creative writing skills. There were no sign of humanities at my school, not that anyone would've had time for electives, and the "tech writing" class I tried was more interested in how to use styles in Word than anything else!

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Detect 2 days ago 0 replies      
Carbon farmer. Figure out ways to sequester carbon in soils while providing nutrient dense food to the local community and making a profit doing it.
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raindev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be a fashion designer. Oftentimes I feel like software engineering doesn't give me an opportunity to fully realize my creative self. Mostly because of people, not because of technology. Creativity is not valued for its own sake in software development and you cannot just say "that's the way I see". I feel it narrows down my life perspective too much.
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matzhouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to be an astronaut. It has the physical and mental aspects I'm looking for. The skills learnt during training are also super interesting.
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bjd2385 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll approach this from a different direction. I currently work cleaning a meat room in a local market; machines,floors, scraps and such. It's a dirty job.

But if I could have any job in the world, it'd be what I spend every other hour not on shift doing, and that's programming and solving problems.

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Mister_Y 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would choose an option in wich automation is difficult to apply, also, something that I love to do (so maybe I had to be a pro player of soccer haha).

You got a serious and a kind of serious answer :D

168
jchendy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lawyer. With those skills and credentials, there are lots of clear and direct opportunities to help some of society's most vulnerable people.
169
bassman9000 2 days ago 0 replies      
Philosophy or history if salary wasn't an issue.Something mechanical/physical if it was. Mechanic sounds good. Who knows, from there to CNC master, 3D printing...
170
jbrown 2 days ago 0 replies      
Open a CrossFit gym or be a tango dancer/teacher.
171
euroinexile 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would choose to be a physical therapist. You to to actually move around all day and also help people and interact with them. Also great potential for research as this is a developing field. Sure would beat starting at a screen all day long, takes about 5 years to train though, 3 full time in school and then would take several more years to match software engineer salary.
172
samstave 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to get into the legal marijuana business.
173
eliasbagley 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd still want to create. Maybe something with my hands. Being a luthier or cordwainer sounds attractive. Assuming money were no issue, perhaps a musician.
174
cosinetau 2 days ago 0 replies      
To me the only answer is: asteroid field miner.
175
number_six 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I could go all the way back I would study astronomy. I would love to have a job looking at the stars and doing really difficult math.
176
jshupe 10 hours ago 0 replies      
osteopathic medicine, high problem solving to meeting ratio - must like people.
177
OliverLassen 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the summer I would just like to work outside.
178
pkamb 2 days ago 0 replies      
- Picker/Seller of antiques and vintage items. Fun hobby and comes easily if you're already sourcing for your own home and collection.

- Historic building salvage crew and/or restoration of historic buildings.

- Bed and Breakfast / AirBnB / wedding venue proprietor with healthy dose of the above history/restoration work on the side.

179
MiddleEndian 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to be the mayor of my city. I would focus on improving infrastructure (transit and internet) and supporting the arts.
180
amorphid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Development is my dream job. The day to day is completely different than I imagined, but a good fit for me overall. Learning how to be content in spite of all the blockers to "just coding" had not been trivial, but doing anything well is always hard.

If I had to pick something else, I'd probably get bored.

181
gol706 2 days ago 0 replies      
I took a bunch of urban studies and GIS classes in college for the hell of it, and might have done it as a major had they not just started offering it my Jr year. I think I would enjoy urban planning or map making.

On the more creative side I'd love to take my Arduino hobby to the next level and build interactive art installations for museums.

182
pmtarantino 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to open a bookstore and a publishing house. But I also would love to be art curator, or something related to art dealing. I read a lot of books (fictions, too) about collecting, fakes, etc. I find that world quite amusing, but I think it is impossible to do a career there without money or networking.
183
jwtadvice 2 days ago 0 replies      
Private intelligence to help journalists disclose and report on corruption and abuse around the world.
184
xemdetia 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would build robots to facilitate AI construction that I would move back to when I moved back to tech. Really though, animatronics/movie work sounds the most fun to learn from right now though. Practical effects making a comeback just feels exciting!
185
Paul_S 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is already my third career so it's not that unlikely. Maybe my last career will be outside the system and not a career at all: the creator of a new type of economic system.
186
Natales 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd become a full-time startup advisor. I already do this part time with a couple of startups here in the valley, and I really enjoy those deep brainstorming sessions about the present and future of technology. Helping shape possible futures is really exciting for me.
187
rglovejoy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would move to Wyoming and become a cowboy.
188
dragonorta 2 days ago 0 replies      
Motorcycle mechanic or astronautical engineer
189
Scea91 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would be a historian. I was always interested in history and reading history books, but the career in computer science is much more perspective.
190
odammit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Archaeology. I was really interested in the idea as a kid but my mom pointed out you might not get to bathe that often (and I was/am a neat freak) so I quickly lost interest.

Now I find most of my vacations are centered around traveling to ruins or going to live in small towns with interesting cultures.

Way cooler than software. FML.

191
kieranr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Play competitive tennis :') It'd be a miserable paying job at my level, but the most satisfying life I could live.
192
callesgg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Something in film.

I can sit for ages thinking about how movies and TV series are cut and edited, i think it is fascinating.

Surgeon would be interesting.

It is however not a big leap from the fundamental reason i am in tech.

I like to figure out how stuff works and fit together.I don't feel it maters that much if it is a computer or a human body.

193
denzil_correa 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be a lawyer - specifically in the common law system. I like making arguments based on past cases.
194
relics443 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd probably go into a medical or bioscience field. It's always fascinated me (and I read medical journals as a kid).
195
ignorantguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to become a farmer. I think producing something physical would make me feel good I guess.
196
joeblau 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would start a coffee shop. I don't even really like coffee that much, but the thought of literally selling the same product day in and day out seems calming after working in environments where the formulas for everything are changing literally every day.
197
petewailes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Doing this in a few years when we've sold. Going to found a company building mid end speakers.

Prototyping this year.

198
dnqthao 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would want to become a researcher in a theoretical field such as applied math, physics or economics.
199
dmode 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would really like to become good at mountaineering - spend a lot of time in high altitude places, get better physically, get trained on high altitude trekking. Then I would like to take people in life changing hikes in the Himalayas
200
Overtonwindow 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would move to the Carribean and open a beachside bar with pinball machines and a large jukebox.
201
ChemicalWarfare 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd open a brewery. It's a pretty saturated market but from whatever little business planning I've done break-even point is at about 2 years which would be fine if I was running it as a side business. The problem is it's a full time job :)
202
knicholes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pornographer.
203
jitix 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mechanical engineer specializing in guns - guns are quite impressive works on engineering.
204
jusuchin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Landscaping designer, worker/Handyman. I get such joy from it and the creating/design aspect stems from my programming ability. Also, anything weather/meteorology related, as it's a side passion.
205
nitwit005 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since I imagine you're looking for unusual answers that an engineer type could conceivably transfer to:

Theme park design/engineering

Museum exhibit design/construction

206
russelluresti 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd probably go into academia, honestly. I'd probably want to be a researcher, though I'm not sure which field of study I would focus on. Either cognitive psychology or linguistics, I imagine.
207
itomato 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be a Chiropractor.

The original reference architecture for the Human Body is still valid, save for a newly-classified organ here and there.

No microservices revolutions, no development methodologies, no UI toolkits...

208
ddorian43 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would try to be a martial arts teacher (i always try to teach others at my kickboxing gym, why not get paid).

Also, any hobby/sport that gives you big addrenaline rush + makes/keeps you fit but doesn't slowly kill you (example: (kick)boxing kills your braincells) ?

209
prograhammer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a web developer now. If I could switch, I'd absolutely love to be one of those forensic science technicians. To use science to put away the bad guys (or exonerate the good guys) sounds so gratifying.
210
npmanor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Designing and building automobiles without all the gadgets and gizmos present in modern vehicles. A vehicle designed to embrace the visceral experience of motoring and minimizes interference to that experience.
211
alexander-edge 2 days ago 0 replies      
212
yesimahuman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd probably try to start some kind of non-tech cashflow business. Beyond that, writing or photography. Hard to answer because in reality I'll just want to start another tech startup :)
213
surrey-fringe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interpreter.

The feeling of learning a new word and using it correctly is like crack. I still have pretty good memories of learning words like "however" and "nevertheless" when I was a kid.

214
mud_dauber 2 days ago 0 replies      
Run a dog sanctuary.

The more I read about how people in the US treat each other, the more I want to work with innocents.

Screw the money. I've got enough saved to live simply but well. And yes, I'm married.

215
manmal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Designer. And I'm actually doing it this year, with a slow transition. I will most likely not fully give up coding, but I hope for a 70/30 mix of design/coding, if possible.
216
fbernier 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd probably ride the beer brewing wave like everyone tells me I should do. I love programming and live well off of it while having lots of fun homebrewing so I don't think I ever will.
217
babyrainbow 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to become a toy maker.
218
mikecsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I quit my job as a software developer to study medicine. Although I still work as a developer for a medical education startup to pay the bills... perhaps there is no escape ;)
219
fma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tennis coach. I am decent (rated as high as 4.5 in my prime) and I love to teach. I have a 5 month old daughter, so I'll be able to do that within a few years :)
220
rbur0425 2 days ago 0 replies      
Skip college, work a part time job and build SaaS products. With the recurring revenue would be able to hire people to manage the product and then become a digital nomad.
221
222
trumbitta2 2 days ago 0 replies      
From UX Engineer to Apprentice Woodworker on top of a mountain.
223
Normal_gaussian 2 days ago 0 replies      
Climbing and sign language instruction, supporting me just enough to enjoy life and start writing. I'd try drawing as well, though I doubt it would be profitable.
224
DrinkWater 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shepherd.
225
eof 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been fantasizing about getting into timber framing.
226
Kluny 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to be a workplace safety inspector or ergonomics consultant and help people do their jobs better without risking injuring themselves as much.
227
hdkmraf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Herder.

Most likely taking care of goats.

228
kakaorka 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be a physicist. I actually want to start doing that as a side job; especially quantum mechanics seems very interesting and it needs a lot more research!
229
rileyteige 2 days ago 0 replies      
Charter Pilot. Been working on that transition for 3 years now, getting my CFI soon ;)

Love development, but I'd much rather do it on the side than 40 hrs/week.

230
dkns 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dancer / Dance teacher. I find dance and especially social dancing an incredibly joyful experience after few hours of sitting in front of computer screen.
231
runevault 2 days ago 0 replies      
Novelist would be my initial attempt. Mind you I'm working on doing it as a second job NOW (I'm about 80% done with my current novel)
232
xavor 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would be a cook/barman in my own small establishment. I actually prefer the work to dev (after 30+ yrs since childhood) but lack the finances to make the transfer.
233
draz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Epidemiologist or homocide detective. Both (at least from the outside) seem like they require extreme skills at picking out a needle in a haystack.
234
anthk 2 days ago 0 replies      
from IT? Telecommunications Engineering.

Half of it is shared with CS, so is kinda the same but more fun.

C is still the main language for standards so I could find myself at home, as I am a OpenBSD user and zealot.

http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

No GNURadio here, sadly, but is WIP.

Hacking comm devices is funny.

Even something simple as SDR's are interesting too.

235
beat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Record producer. I've been recording and producing music for years and love doing it. It'd be nice to be able to make a living at it.
236
EpicEng 2 days ago 1 reply      
Modern day blacksmith. Specifically, I want to make high end, historically accurate swords for a living. I love swords :)
237
diverted247 2 days ago 0 replies      
Roast Coffee. Done.
238
santaclaus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Start a crappy band, have a cool band camp page, travel around the country in a van playing shows in DIY performance spaces and dive bars.
239
dagw 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I didn't have to worry about losing lots of money, I'd become a freelance reviewer of skis and ski resorts :)
240
ngokevin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tournament poker player or national park ranger.
241
zappo2938 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm the opposite of a lot of people. I was a private yacht chef now trying to switch career to web developer.
242
kevinSuttle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Farmer.
243
omar12 2 days ago 0 replies      
Music Curator/DJ: Not a Top 40 DJ but more like Gilles Peterson. Have a collection of unique and eclectic playlists.
244
dverma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Football(Soccer) Journalist.

Have been doing it as a hobby but would love to spend more time immersing myself into the beautiful game.

245
pknerd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would love to become a theoretical physicist.
246
samtho 2 days ago 0 replies      
Might be close to tech, but I would run a Makerspace/Hackerspace full time if I could sustain myself doing it.
247
jinfiesto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pianist, though if I'm being honest, I'll never be good enough to be A-list. Which is why I'm a developer.
248
stillworks 2 days ago 0 replies      
- Pilot

- Fiction Author

- Location Hunter for Cinematographers (basically get paid to travel to wonderful scenic places)

- Landscape Photographer (very hard to get paid for this I guess)

249
coldcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would write books except I hate working alone, I prefer being around people. Maybe some kind of writer's workshop?
250
nanoanderson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Camera repairman.

edit: Film camera repairman

251
innocentoldguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would write short stories and novels, and I'd also like to teach at the high school or college level.
252
ascendantlogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get into motorsports in some capacity.
253
cmrdporcupine 2 days ago 0 replies      
Winery / cidery. More on the vineyard/orchard side of it, but would like to own the business.
254
knieveltech 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd open a shop and small school dedicated to archaic crafts like blacksmithing and boat building.
255
jwatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Creating music and writing. Things I did as a youth but didn't pay the bills like computers!
256
lanius 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tailor. I just sew as a hobby, but I enjoy being able to make clothes fit better.
257
josephv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Forest ranger
258
antoyo 2 days ago 1 reply      
In order of preference:

Yoga teacher

Professional chess player

Fantasy book author

259
clishem 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd probably become a monk.
260
teh_klev 2 days ago 0 replies      
Train driver. In particular, pootling around the highlands of Scotland in a Class 37.
261
suyash 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be a magician traveling worldwide and performing for large crowds.
262
tmsam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Campground host. Camp all day every day. Be nice to everyone. Rest for years...
263
aezell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Curator at an art museum and publisher of unique writing about music, art, and humans.
264
franze 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yoga Teacher (for developers)
265
WalterBright 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to be a Lion Tamer.
266
taneq 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd take up a trade. Either be an electrician, or a machinist.

Edit: Or HV mechanic. I love big engines.

267
tinnet 2 days ago 0 replies      
something in the lines of fitness coach + nutrionist + physiotherapy (aka "actually helping people") OR lumberjack in the far north (aka "i've had enough of all this" :))
268
IChangedCareers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Porn star. No shit, either. I mean sex, drugs, and booze (or coffee) are prominent and if you have that OCD type behavior you are MORE than built for it. Why not, if you are gifted and shaved down .... Id do it
269
knodi123 2 days ago 0 replies      
Teach, either software, or critical thinking, or language.
270
uptown 2 days ago 0 replies      
Residential architect or dog walker / doggie daycare operator.
271
EleventhSun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Living abroad and teaching english.

Or, teaching engineering.

272
abricot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would become a teacher of some sorts. Probably secondary school.
273
matthewhall 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would go into filmmaking or become a doctor. Maybe...
274
blazespin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Charter sailboats in Caribbean, Mediterranean, etc
275
yellowapple 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to get back into music. Unfortunately, it doesn't pay terribly well, but maybe if I can get enough saved up (or perhaps hammer out a couple self-sustaining side projects)...
276
avisk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Open a used bookshop
277
lj3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Product designer. :)
278
mathattack 2 days ago 1 reply      
Teach martial arts.
279
atmosx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Write plays, fairytales, poems and novels.
280
max_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to be a Game Designer like Hideo Kojima!
281
newdayrising 2 days ago 0 replies      
Become a novelist and write adventure stories.
282
steambap 1 day ago 0 replies      
I want to be an artist.
283
orionblastar 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Investment banking so I can help Startups IPO etc.
284
AncoraImparo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would buy a coffee shop if I could!
285
imsofuture 2 days ago 1 reply      
Distill whiskey.
286
nraynaud 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mechanical engineering
287
jsd1982 2 days ago 0 replies      
Audio engineer or full-time musician.
288
prodtorok 2 days ago 0 replies      
FBI Agent. Any interesting crime work.
289
sssilver 2 days ago 0 replies      
ArchitectureMotorcyclesCooking/chef
290
cel1ne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Psychotherapist.
291
auganov 2 days ago 0 replies      
A cat nanny.
292
d1ffuz0r 2 days ago 0 replies      
park ranger or physics teacher
293
EJTH 2 days ago 0 replies      
CNC operator or something like it.
294
Heraclite 2 days ago 1 reply      
Philosopher
295
html5web 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dentist
296
stevenmays 2 days ago 0 replies      
Writer.
297
Drome 2 days ago 0 replies      
Movie director, no doubts
298
losteverything 2 days ago 0 replies      
Retail. Work at Walmart.
299
astrostl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pro event photography.
300
logronoide 2 days ago 2 replies      
Gigolo
301
ardivekar2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Novelist.
302
legohead 2 days ago 0 replies      
professional rock climber

assuming I could live on the crap money, of course

303
lucasnemeth 2 days ago 0 replies      
Primary school teacher
304
bheinzelman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fly fishing guide.
305
postwait 2 days ago 0 replies      
High school teacher.
306
switchstance 2 days ago 0 replies      
Surfing instructor.
307
segmondy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Investment banker.
308
logfromblammo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd design and build concrete shell homes with basalt reinforcement bars and transverse light-transmitting fibers, for the rural and suburban markets, and factory-manufactured home modules that are rack-mounted and transportable via intermodal shipping containers and forklifts, for the urban market.

One of the disappointing things I have learned is that many municipalities limit the visible height of residential buildings from the average grade level to its highest point to only 30 or 40 feet. That means, in combination with the depth of the frost-heave line, that spherical shells are not possible for a family-sized home, and the only feasible tornado-resistant shapes would be severely-flattened ellipsoids and toruses. I had a hypothesis that I really wanted to test regarding the humidity problems experienced with geodesic dome homes, but that one zoning issue makes testing it pretty much impossible.

I have been pretty disappointed with all of the stick-built homes I have ever lived in, with regard to maintenance and infrastructure issues. In short, I'm sick of paying through the nose for cheap, slipshod crap. If I'm going to pay through the nose anyway, I'd rather get something that could survive a nuclear strike on the nearest strategic asset, where I would never have to use a plunger in any toilet because the architect never talked to a master plumber, and never need to tack up visible wires because the existing wiring plan stinks, and also never have to carry the laundry up and down two flights of stairs because no one bothered to minimize the distance between that particular appliance and all the bedroom closets.

I just want to rebel against the existing market conditions in housing. Realistically, I would likely be an abysmal failure in that sector, and would have to return to software development--with my tail between my legs--in less than 5 years. But I'd also get a kickass house out of it, which would slowly reveal its agonizingly severe problems over the following 10 years, which would have bankrupted my company anyway, had it succeeded. Then I'd write a book about my experience, which would sell 30 copies. I'd become a bitter old geezer, and none of my co-workers would talk to me unless they had a question about our crufty, legacy C++21 module that everyone else is afraid to touch. My best friend would be a red Swingline stapler. I would be buried with it. Then concrete shell homes would sweep the nation in a flurry of unexpected popularity. I would get frequent reports about it in "The Special Hell for People Who Don't Really Deserve It, But We Torment Them Anyway, Just for Fun", which would be effectively indistinguishable from my pre-demise existence as a software professional, except Special Hell gets 3.5 weeks of PTO, and Columbus Day off, because even pure evil has limits.~

309
dsp1234 2 days ago 0 replies      
Executive security
310
elliotec 2 days ago 0 replies      
Charter pilot
311
felideon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Photojournalist
312
upatricck 2 days ago 0 replies      
Be a musician.
313
languagehacker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lounge singer
314
agjmills 2 days ago 0 replies      
Horse racing!
315
twodayslate 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bartend
316
DrSarez 2 days ago 1 reply      
Elon Musk ^^
317
jordz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bar tender.
318
shapath 2 days ago 0 replies      
Physicist
319
oe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Trains.
320
xseven 2 days ago 0 replies      
Professor
321
seanplusplus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Navy SEAL
322
greedoid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Podcaster.
323
erjjones 2 days ago 1 reply      
Architect
324
charlesdm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tax law.
325
agjmills 2 days ago 0 replies      
something with racehorses
326
findjashua 2 days ago 0 replies      
interior design
327
kingkawn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would be a dolphin.
328
jmcgough 2 days ago 2 replies      
Was just there two days ago, that place is like an engineer's wet dream.
329
chintanshah24 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would get into the hotel business. Build a hotel on a fairly under discovered tourist spot and work my way up this domain.
330
batz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Train horses, perhaps at a reclaimed monastery that runs silent and teaching retreats for guests who study math, classical philosophy, and martial arts.

Maybe start a barbell gym.

331
Chris2048 2 days ago 4 replies      
332
squozzer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sniper. Then I could blow people's heads off at 1000m. But my eyesight isn't 20/20 anymore. So exotic dancer it is.
333
euroinexile 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would choose to be a physical therapist. You get to actually move around all day and also help people and interact with them. Also great potential for research as this is a developing field. Sure would beat starting at a screen all day long, takes about 5 years to train though, 3 full time in school and then would take several more years to match software engineer salary.
334
criveros 2 days ago 0 replies      
A professional pick up artist. If you get good at it, get a good following, get good media presence (Youtube, Facebook groups), you will be able to sell products and run bootcamps pretty consistently.

To make a lot of money you need to be really good at it, by that I mean having slept with 100+ girls, having an amazing social life, and have people in the community that can vouch for you. Building that can take years if you are not a hot, white dude.

9
Apple cuts Tim Cook's pay 15% for missing sales goals cnn.com
300 points by basseq  2 days ago   386 comments top 33
1
rblatz 2 days ago 12 replies      
People are all up in arms about headphone jacks, USB-C, and dongles. When the real issue is Apple completely missing huge new markets.

Apple had Siri out and was in the lead with voice control, then they wasted it. I never use Siri, she is nearly worthless, but I do use Alexa multiple times a day. Amazon is Leading the voice assistant market, and Google is right on their heels.

Home automation was supposed to get better with HomeKit but arrived basically stalled. They announced all these partners and sold their products at the Apple Store. Then when HomeKit finally was ready none of those products worked with HomeKit. You had to buy newer versions that had some proprietary Apple chip in it.

Apple's cloud offering is confusing and hard to manage, also it doesn't work with other platforms besides their own. Amazon and Google both do this much better.

AppleTv is a great product but Apple can't seem to really work with partners to make it actually innovative. The TV app is a cool idea, but I've yet to find any reason to actually use it.

It just seems like they've been wondering aimlessly and dropping half products out there then never iterating and finishing them. Is there some other hidden project (car?) taking all their top talent? Is there some sort of corporate culture issue that has driven all the best and brightest brightest elsewhere? Is there a lot of mismanagement and mixed signals coming down from above?

2
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 8 replies      
Like others I don't shed a lot of tears when an exec makes only 89% of their multi-million dollar target bonus :-) I asked an exec at Oracle once about how it was even motivating. For much of my career I've had some sort of bonus associated with my salary, at Sun, NetApp, Google all had bonus programs (with different tweaks). And for an engineer it could be a huge thing. At Google with all the multipliers in place you could get your entire salary paid again in just bonus money if you were a superstar. For an engineer that can be hugely motivating because they need their salary to live on, so bonus money is "extra".

But when you're an executive and the different in bonus is $8M vs $5M? Sure its a huge number that you didn't get an extra three million dollars but what can you do differently with $8M that you can't do with $5M? So my question to the Oracle exec was "Does it really motivate you to work harder, smarter, etc if the difference between hitting it out of the park and not doing so has no impact on your lifestyle?" And his answer was that most of the people that he worked with were "score" motivated, it wasn't the money it was that they had a bigger score than their competitive exec.

I'm not sure I really believe that. I mean could Oracle just have Brownie Points as their bonus metric and still get the same performance effort? But it really did surprise me that the number was important even though the effect of the number on their lifestyle was probably not noticeable.

I think Tim needs to avoid being painted like Steve Ballmer, an exec that led Microsoft to higher growth, profit, and sales, and into the swamp. And for that reason, not the size of his bonus this year, he needs to pay attention to the changing forces in the market.

3
jeffehobbs 2 days ago 2 replies      
Apple should have removed the indicator that showed Tim Cook what his sales goals were.
4
tarikjn 2 days ago 4 replies      
To step away from sales, since everyone seems so focused on headphone jacks/MBPt. I think a lot of the uproar this year will subside over the next 1-2 years and the decisions Apple made will make sense.

Apple has always made controversial decisions of this fashion in its history, many today don't remember because they weren't Apple customers then. I think those who said Steve Jobs wouldn't have let these decisions happen couldn't be further from the truth. But these decisions have usually paid off, there just were less people then to notice/complain.

A lot of the decisions made on the products released last year actually make a lot of sense to me. If anything, Apple should simply stop including the earpods with the iPhone to reduce confusion and waste. Moving away from the headphone jack is not just about wireless and space, but making the DAC part of the speakers/drivers system. The lightning port is destined to disappear eventually too, with induction or wireless charging.

I think a lot of this is the result of Apple being ahead of the curve (and partly driving it), and is consistent with Apple looking ahead and delivering long-term value products. A wise investor would see the stance of the company keeping course for the vision in the face of such bad publicity as a good sign it hasn't lost its edge.

5
mark_l_watson 2 days ago 4 replies      
Apple's share price for the last year is up by about 10%, despite problems with disatisfation over MacBook Pro, no earphone jack, etc. Personally, the only thing I am really disappointed with is slow progress on web services.

I was considering moving on from Apple myself, but decided that I like their hardware and my workflow is good on macOS and iOS (on a iPad Pro). I just bought a MacBook and when my Android phone is 4 years old (soon), I am going to get an iPhone.

Apple products are expensive but I spend so much time with them that the extra cost is worth it. Still, I wish Tim Cook and the board of directors would sit down together and compare Siri with Google Now and Google Assistant.

6
noddingham 2 days ago 1 reply      
The fact that Tim's compensation is tied to sales goals says all you need to know about Apple as a company.

The idea presented here by Steve about what happens when sales people run the company is becoming more and more true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBma82g3Uag

7
WalterSear 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oh no, now he won't be able to afford that thing. Oh wait, yes he will.

It seems to me that executive compensation has become so inflated, it's lost its incentive value.

8
markpapadakis 2 days ago 0 replies      
My theory (everyone has one) is that Tim Cook is excellent at delegating and orchestrating operations, but he lacks the combination of qualities, charisma and personality of Jobs that pushed(forced?) people to go above and beyond and surpass expectations.

Jobs likely had zero tolerance for good enough products. Cook, I presume, would have wanted people to stay that course but looks like that didnt happen, and he wouldnt boss them around until it did, because maybe he himself doesnt know what is great and what isnt and delegates that to his lieutenants, and because thats just not who he is and how he treats his people.

Apple execs have to do a lot of soul searching to do and should put their resources to a better use. Invest in quality products(that was their trademark but they kind of lost their way there), invest in cloud services and AI/ML because they cant afford not to, innovate in hardware, and understand that many of their competitors are constantly and consistently out-Apple-ing them so time is ticking.

9
tannhaeuser 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's easy to paint Tim Cook as beancounter and Steve Jobs as mastermind. But doesn't this story actually show that Apple's stock holders/investor relations are the prime reason Apple doesn't take risks/investments as they used to under Jobs?

I think it's very short-sighted of Apple to neglect their MacOS business in favour of iOS devices, even though iPhone sales might trounch MacOS's now.

10
tyingq 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mentioned, but this was a reduction in cash bonus of around 2.6 million. While approximately 136 million of his equity vested in the same year. And, he got a 1 million bump up in base salary. The total hit to his comp isn't terribly notable.
11
rackforms 2 days ago 15 replies      
How is Tim Cook still CEO of Apple? Forget sales for a moment and just consider the damage Apple's brand is suffering. $300 books, headphone jacks, unreliable cloud services, missed product launches. In may ways Apples becoming the butt of jokes, a symbol of ignorance. Apple's in total disarray right now and the most loyal followers, myself included, are either jumping ship or seriously considering. The mistakes being made are all, without question, completely avoidable and yet here we are. So I ask again? Why benefit is Apple gaining keeping him on?
12
Analemma_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's not really a "pay cut"; he's not receiving the maximum potential value of his incentive bonus.
13
mmonihan 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is an example of one of the more insidious cases of "fake news."

His pay wasn't cut, he simply didn't earn 100% of it as he did in previous years because they missed their sales goals in 2016. That's baked into his contract, and isn't really "news."

It may just be wording, but the headline makes the effect sound much more sensational than the reality.

It's these instances of seemingly harmless clickbait that are eroding the public's trust in major news outlets.

14
swang 2 days ago 0 replies      
everyone keeps saying it's only HN commenters, r/apple techies that are complaining about Apple's new changes. calling us/these people "fringe" users.

let's talk about what a "normal" user needs: web browsing and watching netflix. of course those users are happy. a macbook pro is an excellent $3000 netflix movie watcher and web browser.

but my sister is an actual professional that uses macs because she works in video editing. her needs are above what a normal user needs in terms of everything: cpu/gpu power, memory, hard drive space, etc. how have her needs been met by apple?

no mac pro. she had the old (g5?) tower and just had to straight up move to the imac because the trashcan darth vader mac pro was way out of her budget for what it offered.

okay, so maybe the macbook pro is closer to what she needs right? except she has a whole bunch of legacy usb devices she needs to connect to and her idea of having to buy dongles or docks on top of the $$$ price tag does not appeal to her at all. what does she even get for spending this much money? prev generation cpu with a centimeter-high secondary touchscreen device that costs $200 more to get (vs last year's non-touchbar model).

she does not use fcpx so she is not heavily attached to apple. she would rather stick with apple but at this point she is literally being offered zero options for doing her work.

apple has left her and many other professionals in the dust. tim cook says they're working on mac pro / desktop models but if they don't come out soon they're asking for their lunch to be eaten up slowly just like what happened to microsoft.

microsoft started losing customers in small amounts and they said, "WHERE ELSE WILL YOU GO?" and apple, and google answered. apple is now playing the same game. one more user using a google pixel smartphone, one more user using a microsoft surface studio, one more person using alexa instead of siri and it eats away at apple's ecosphere. we'll see if apple has the "courage" to change course.

15
TheRealPomax 2 days ago 0 replies      
As clickbait bot would say "his salary went up from $2m to $3m/yr, and only his bonus got one-time slashed, still giving him $8.7m this year". This is not information worth reading on hackernews. If the article actually went into real detail why the sales goals were missed, and what made them reasonable goals in the first place, maybe that would have been a worthwhile article to read.
16
Waterluvian 2 days ago 1 reply      
When you're that rich, money is more of a high score than a tool. A pay cut will have more symbolic and emotional effect than actually lacking that money.
17
rfrey 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel like appointing Tim Cook CEO was Steve Jobs' last, master stroke to secure Steve Jobs' legend.
18
DoodleBuggy 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Apple Bosses See Pay Drop in 2016 as CEO Reaps $145 Million"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-06/apple-exe...

I think he will get by.

19
crististm 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is something that can be seen throughout history of mankind:

Some dude leads a country for many years in prosperity and abundance. Because he has results, his opposition is practically non-existent and he stays in the lead until he dies. Another king comes but he is practically unable to raise to the same level as his predecessor. His opposition is stronger (relative to him) and he ends up either overthrown or burning all the money or both...

This backlash effect is very clear after almost any powerful figure. Without peers of the same calibre, good results will soon be cancelled out as if non-existent.

20
quizzas 2 days ago 2 replies      
Tim Cook has always been an efficiency expert. He is the master of supply chain management and logistics. He is perfect for operations and everything related to cost management. However, do his skills translate to the visionary tasks expected of the CEO? I understand he's delegated these tasks to others, but ultimately, these delegates have failed. Either Cook needs to find better visionaries, or step down, because Apple is completely rudderless as a purveyor of EXCITING consumer products. It's becoming more like LG, Samsung and Lenovo - a boring derivative consumer electronics product company.
21
fleshweasel 2 days ago 0 replies      
They should start paying Tim Cook in dongles.
22
hyperion2010 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have to say, I stopped by a university computer store today and they had the three new mac book pros on display. When I went to test out the keyboard I was horrified. How does anyone think that having sub millimetre key-action is acceptable? The things barely move! Same with the touchpads. Maybe I'm biased coming from thinkpad keyboads, but even compared to the previous generation of mac keyboards (which I have encountered from time to time when I need to help someone with a mac out) the new ones are a joke. Putting a multitouch screen with haptic feedback would be better. So serious question: does anyone actually like the new mac keyboards? They seem like a complete failure to me, it is like watching the apple engineers striving for further thinness because that is their only metric for goodness, forget trying to do usability studies.
23
switchstance 2 days ago 3 replies      
Personally, I'd hate to have his position. I can't imagine the pressure of trying to fill the shoes of Steve.
24
astaroth360 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple needs to get their shit together. OSX has gone downhill fast, they don't seem to know who their target audience is, the new Macbook Pro's have crap battery, what else could they even do wrong at this point?

They need to completely turn things around if they are going to keep the developer community. I guess they just worry about the iPhone, but by ignoring everything else they're going to alienate their customers.

25
norea-armozel 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not a huge surprise to me. Apple's UX and UI stuff has taken such a huge dive in quality. I had hoped someone else would take up the torch but not even Microsoft with Windows 10 is doing good enough IMO. It's weird how usability has taken a back seat to flashy movie style UIs which few can use effectively. Seriously, just give us similar stuff to the finder and the start menu and leave the flashy UI stuff to Hollywood films.
26
kingkawn 2 days ago 0 replies      
All the resources in the world aren't worth much if you can't think of anything good to do.
27
nnain 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at the last two years, it's difficult to be excited about this year's Apple Events. He did well in his role in Operations; but guess Apple needs someone from Products/Design division with a refreshing future vision.
28
neovive 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's hard to keep growing a company as big as Apple. Maybe they need to spin-off the desktop division into a separate company that can innovate independently of their mobile devices.
29
kabes 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's time for Apple to open up and be less restrictive about their platform. As the competition is catching up with Apple, I see a lot of people are tempted to buy at least one product (laptop, phone, chromecast, ...) that is not Apple. The problem is that Apple only works great if you go 100% Apple. As soon as you have a couple of non-apple products, your apple products tend to loose a lot of value. You'll likely find you'd rather use Dropbox than iCloud. Rather share with Chromecast than airplay, ...
30
gist 2 days ago 0 replies      
As if this really matters to someone in Cooks position I would guess that the money loss is the least thing he actually cares about.
31
ry4n413 1 day ago 0 replies      
it doesn't matter, he has US$785 million
32
aw3c2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh noes, only 24k per day anymore!
33
drdoom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is an insider point of view of the reason Tim Cook missed his sales goals as an Apple engineer describes it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXuVAi2bHdA

10
Compute Card, a Credit Card-Sized Compute Platform intel.com
298 points by clumsysmurf  3 days ago   167 comments top 31
1
joezydeco 2 days ago 5 replies      
I wish Intel would try to work bottom-up with the manufacturers putting IoT-class parts into their products instead of trying to push it top-down. Yeah, I get it, that's how they work. It's not going to change.

A big glossy launch at CES with no details does absolutely nothing for my project. When an NXP or STMicro rep comes into the office and shows me what's new, maybe drops off a devkit...that's useful.

2
wonko1 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems like a neat idea but their use case is:

"interactive refrigerators and smart kiosks to security cameras and IoT gateways."

I can't see a strong advantage for Intel here. I don't think there's anyway a modular solution can compete with an integrated design using low cost ARM SOCs (typically <= 1USD for something capable of running Linux in China).

I was kind of hoping this would be targeted at high density server applications, which could be interesting but doesn't seem to be the case.

3
owenversteeg 2 days ago 2 replies      
- 95x55x5mm (credit card 86x54x0.8mm)

- Mid 2017

- Needs a dock to be powered and cooled

- USB-C plus another unnamed connector, looks like this (http://i.imgur.com/887iweg.jpg)

- Built in WiFi/Bluetooth

- Up to 7th gen Intel vPro processor

4
mmastrac 2 days ago 7 replies      
This seems like a much more advanced version of EOMA68, a compute card project re-using old PCMCIA connectors.

I feel like USB-C gives much more flexibility: it has a well-defined configuration enumeration protocol that's already supported everywhere. There's a lot more options for extensibility and future-proofing with USB-C.

With the onboard storage this is one step closer to my dream: the ability to plug a phone's compute module into a desktop to give me access to a more powerful GPU, extra storage, etc.

My big question: will this card format be an open standard, or will Intel be locking it down?

5
saosebastiao 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'll never be able to say what I would have chosen to do in the moment, but at least in retrospect, Intel really buffooned their investment in ISA advances by trying to go after the high end server and mainframe market with Itanium, instead of the mobile market.

I mean, they were trying to sell incremental advances in top speed to people who were buying 20 year support contracts for IBM mainframes to run their legacy COBOL code. They obviously didn't value faster computers, they wanted stability. Having to recompile was just out of the question. And x86-64 was just the thing to get them to upgrade: they could continue running their same crufty code on the same processors that their new code could run on.

The mobile and very low power market, however, will never be taken over by x86. The architecture is just too power hungry, which means batteries need to be large and heavy and more expensive. Phone manufacturers gladly pay premiums for every incremental performance boost, as long as it doesn't consume more power. And the backwards compatibility problem doesn't exist. People throw their phones out every year or two anyway, and nobody has any legacy software they need to keep installed on their new phone. In other words, this market is ripe for ILP, predication, etc., that push off scheduling and branch prediction and other energy hungry tasks onto the compiler.

Funny how now they really want into the very low power market, but have abandoned all the ideas that could given them an edge up.

6
kondro 2 days ago 3 replies      
No manufacturer wants this. They don't want to sell you updated internals, they want to sell you a new product. Not to mention no one wants to pay the Intel-tax for their embedded processors.

I wish Intel would stop creating products nobody wants and actually work on shipping their core products on-time.

7
deepnotderp 2 days ago 0 replies      
If Intel wants the iot market, they need to have better support,documentation and transparency. They also need to reduce costs, but that can be done later... For example,we were going to use an Intel real sense at my startup. But despite claiming that android support was on the way (about two years ago....) we got nothing. As for transparency, real sense runs on non i7 cpus in raw mode but not the sdk. Despite asking (specifically about raw mode)the only response we got was "use i7". Turns out it worked but instead of using Intel chips,we decided to opt for arm+Logitech cameras.
8
sigmar 2 days ago 1 reply      
>- Connection to devices will be done via an Intel Compute Card slot with a new standard connector (USB-C plus extension)

>- USB-C plus extension connector will provide USB, PCIe, HDMI, DP and additional signals between the card and the device

That sounds pretty interesting. Hoping they don't keep these priced too far above the hobbyist price point.

9
aceperry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like a really cool form factor with intriguing possibilities. Only problem with Intel is most of their chips require a lot of power. That's going to be a big problem if they're trying to play in the small embedded device space that depends heavily on battery power. One thing about Intel though, they've been throwing out lots of smaller devices hoping to get some traction somewhere. Hopefully they can bring down the power on their devices.
10
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Props for swinging at the fences. I'm not seeing what they were shooting for though. If someone posts the user stories for these things I'd love to see that.
11
Johnny555 2 days ago 2 replies      
If this means that I can stop carrying my 4.5lb laptop to/from work every day, I'm sold. Assuming it has equivalent performance.

But somehow I think that the cost of this card plus a home/work dock will be more than the price of 2 laptops.

12
sandGorgon 2 days ago 0 replies      
what is the price point of these devices. In india, we get 1ghz android smartphones with 1gb ram. we have built a few serial controllers using Android COSU mode and android-serial libraries. 3g and wifi are built in obviously.

this stuff costs us something like 35$.

13
Handwash 2 days ago 3 replies      
I do wish that something like this (and the compute stick) will become mainstream. My company has multiple office location and I need to commute to work. Bringing a 5-kg+ of load everyday (laptop, charger, etc) is sure hurting my back.

With this, I can just bring a card or a stick, and plug it in on my company card/stick reader and start working.

14
RileyKyeden 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would have called it Credit Crunch. This is why I don't work in marketing.
15
sigmaprimus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I couldn't seem to find where to order an evaluation kit. Maybe I'm not looking in the right spot but it seems odd that all they show are drawings and no actual photos or videos.
16
fumar 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think soon enough a similar device will unlock a new wave of IoT devices. Something, a bit cheaper, much easier to install, and accessible to layman. What if such a device could easily be integrated in a couch, reading table, office chair, door handle, etc. Designers wouldn't need to re-invent X object to include a processing center, it would already exist.

I think there is a big opportunity in creating such a easy to use device. I like to think its similar to traditional services that have gone digital or transformed into web services. This would be the next step physical objects gaining digital awareness.

I remember when all of a sudden retailers needed to extend their presence into the web. Soon even furniture makers like IKEA will have connected furniture.

Why? It will be cheap and easy to implement. There are benefits that we don't consider important today. What if a smart table could keep track of its owners and use, almost like an odometer. Perhaps it could be sold or traded easier. Perhaps this would unlock a new system of trade, if objects could track their use. I wouldn't need to worry about getting a "fair" price or trade if it was more objective. Or a chair monitoring my posture and my couch recording when my dog decided to tear apart its cushion.

17
jwatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile, an ESP 8266 is a couple of bucks and has fine I/O for most "smart" hair brushes and toilet seats.

Once you get to fridge scale, a low cost tablet tacked on the front gives me better UI, more security updates, and easier upgrades than anything an OEM would put in.

18
elcapitan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I thought a credit card sized compute platform is called a smartphone?
19
BuuQu9hu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds similar to EOMA, basically the same thing but for ARM:

http://elinux.org/Embedded_Open_Modular_Architecture

20
caseysoftware 2 days ago 3 replies      
Wifi or at least connectivity in general is becoming ubiquitous.

Assuming connectivity is available, storage is effectively infinite.

Power requirements are down and sources are becoming more efficient and plentiful.

Processing is becoming cheap, potentially "free" at some point.

What happens as a result? What becomes feasible that wasn't 5 or 10 years ago? What problems go away when you have massive amounts of compute capability at the point of the problem?

21
elcct 2 days ago 0 replies      
> The Ideal Processors

That sounds like they just stopped trying... This is sad, because their processors are far from ideal. For example in the area of sound synthesis CPU is still a bottleneck and people have to compromise on the quality or accuracy.I wish AMD could push the boundaries, but in terms of performance they seem to have abandoned the race as well...

22
rbanffy 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I was working on MAAS for Canonical, one thing I always wanted to build was a small cluster of ethernet PXE-bootable x86 nodes. Sadly, I never managed to get Galileo network-booted and Edison devices I had lacked ethernet ports (and the price of the module is a bit high when compared to desktop-sized boards).

The idea of minimum viable computer has always been attractive to me.

23
themihai 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was hopping for a raspberry compute module alternative rather than another PC dongle. Otherwise I would expect some very high specs(i.e thunderbolt, 4k etc) but I think it's not the case either.
24
digi_owl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I seem to recall reading about IBM trying out a concept back in the day that was effectively a dockable HDD that carried the user data. Never been able to find the article again though.
25
ukd1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this really anything new? Surely the internals of my 2015 MacBook are similar size, once you remove the battery, shell, keyboard, mouse, screen, etc...
26
SunboX 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, should we compare this to the Raspberry Pi Compute Module?
27
amluto 2 days ago 1 reply      
If this were actually credit-card-sized (i.e., literally fit in a credit card slot), had a smart card contact, and supported SGX, I'd be excited. Oh, well.
28
Nano2rad 2 days ago 0 replies      
If Intel is interested in developing IoT why did they abandon phone processors? They are both similar.
29
jeppesen-io 2 days ago 0 replies      
Intel comes up with something cool and interesting.

Come here and see top post complaining about it. Not disappointed.

30
richardboegli 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same post a 2 hours before this one....https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13332858
31
LyalinDotCom 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any word if it will run Windows IoT or just Linux?
11
Norway to become first country to switch off FM radio cbc.ca
286 points by breitling  3 days ago   271 comments top 35
1
anexprogrammer 2 days ago 6 replies      
Over 60% against ... but "more channels". OK solely money driven then.

I have somewhere around 12 FM radios, ranging in price from 10 to lots and 40 years old or newer. They all still work and often give LW and SW too.

In the UK at least DAB is mp2 and an excuse to put out thousands of channels at horrible bit rates. Like down to 64k streams. OK for a noisy car, terrble for at home or headphones.

They all work and put out sound in sync (nb except the new denon micro system that for some reason must be using digital stage in processing fm meaning the sound comes .5s later). I often leave the radio on in several rooms when moving around, so this is especially annoying.

They degrade in poor signal "nicer" than DAB and remain listenable longer. FM has infinitely better coverage across the country.

For the battery powered ones they're at least an order or two of magnitude better battery life. DAB is horrific for portables.

2
geff82 2 days ago 4 replies      
OK, so you switch off a completely fine technology with billions invested, rendering useless multi-millions of fine working radios. For what? I think this will be the death blow to radio. People will not go DAB if not absolutely needed, they will essentially try to go "internet" directly and thereby eliminating classic "radio". Maybe you'll use the DAB in your car sometimes, but I can't imagine it will happen that you replace every FM radio in your house (alarm clock, kitchen radio, TV, legacy hifi-systems, etc...) with DAB now. In those cases, you'll switch so a full online solution like one of the gazillions internet radio stations. FM is dead with DAB. My prediction: "Radio" will something you'll probably find in cars - but almost nowhere else. The user base will be crippled totally, rendering "classic" radio into something unprofitable, as revenue from ads will go down. But as I am a digital child, I also look forward: being a podcaster now in the right countries could be unexpectedly monetarily interesting.
3
timonoko 2 days ago 4 replies      
FM radio in Norway sucked so much because of mountains. Every fjord had its own tiny repeater, but only if there was at least one inhabitant, otherwise you heard nothing. The cell-phone digital network is much more advanced, the antennas are on mountain tops and there is always coverage within few hundred meters.
4
wyldfire 2 days ago 1 reply      
On one hand, spectrum is a precious resource and no one would ever forfeit it without a mandate. OTOH don't you just love the simplicity of the FM radio? I can say that I've never found one that doesn't work.

Sometimes I don't want to troubleshoot, I just want to listen to the radio on my way to work. ;)

> 'We are simply not ready for this yet'

Well, Norway, maybe if you were a big exporter or even importer of automobiles, your legislation would light a fire under some major manufacturers. But you're just not big enough of a consumer.

5
askvictor 2 days ago 3 replies      
The article didn't talk about why? It's not as if the FM bandwidth is particularly valuable, being quite a low frequency. Unlike digital tv, there doesn't seem to be a particularly pressing reason to do this; if broadcasters are happy to keep broadcasting on FM, why stop them?
6
dagss 2 days ago 2 replies      
Consensus from a lunch table in Norway: It was stupid to spend money on DAB now, it happens right as people move from radio to streaming. Many will move to streaming on 4G instead of DAB (which seems to have as good coverage or better, at least for me...then consider if the money spent on DAB had been spent on cellular instead).

The populist party that kicked it off in the first place is now the only party to oppose it, now that they know it is too late to do something about it...

7
ptaipale 2 days ago 4 replies      
What do we do with more channels that we can't listen? If you really need a little bit of bandwidth around 100 MHz for other use, you could cut the spectrum from FM radio and still keep it running.

The place where I usually listen to radio is the car. Car radios don't have DAB receivers. They all have FM receivers. And these days most cars have radio units that are integrated to the car electronics, steering wheel controls etc - so it's not that easy to just get a new radio that fits the hole.

If I get rid of FM radio, I will not replace it with DAB. I'll listen to some streaming service over IP.

8
mongol 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sweden narrowly avoided this, there was a very strong drive, but in the end the responsibie minister halted it. One of the few pieces of happy news in later years.
9
th0ma5 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is a real shame that the US went with the proprietary HD Radio scheme. The devices are so expensive and there hardly are any available. Just now I couldn't even find anything less than $100. What a scam. I feel sorry for all the radio stations that wasted money on this. Would DAB be able to gain ground in the US?
10
snom380 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's a huge marketing / awareness campaign going on right now in Norway to get people to upgrade their FM radios.

I wonder if the radio stations will realize too late that they're throwing away their one advantage (ubiquity) and maybe the option some people will choose when the car radio stops working is to not listen to radio at all.

11
bearcobra 2 days ago 1 reply      
I visited my hometown over the holidays, and the first thing I did after getting into the rental car was tune into the local Alt Rock FM station. The playlists (and most of the DJs) haven't change in the 10 years since high school. I kinda loved it.
12
semi-extrinsic 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is a complete and utter travesty perpetrated by politicians who were convinced by snake oil/electronics salesmen of the (highly dubious) superiority of DAB, and now have too much skin in the game to turn back.

Personally, I've been working lately on building an ESP8266/VS1053 based webradio into my nice old wooden 1960s radio. I'm using the variable plate capacitor for the AM tuner as input for channel selection, so for all the world it will look like a still-working FM tuner. Total BOM cost will be <$30.

13
wonko1 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope AM doesn't end up going the same way too. It would be sad if it wasn't possible to throw a radio together using a few discrete components.
14
brian-armstrong 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're going to take FM radio and slice into a bunch of digital channels, it'd be interesting to make one or two citizens' bands. I know CB is kind of a mess but I like the idea that the music radio in your car could receive and perhaps even transmit on the local band.
15
gravypod 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well congrats to the hams in this country. They're going to get a huge bandwidth that others would be envious enough.

They could also explain to people that just switching modes isn't going to make reception better. If you're having propagation issues then you'd be much better off working on getting repeaters setup on high mountains.

16
kriro 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder how smooth the switch will be (the article says cars are a big problem due to the price). I'd imagine quite a few people won't upgrade their car radio and you'd think...so what radio is way to retro let's just stream stuff and listen to mp3s/ogg.

I don't know if owning a radio is legally required in Norway but if it isn't I can see the radio ownership going down. Once again you may ask so what?

The biggest issue (for me) is that radio plays an essential part in crisis management. Imagine a long term power outage or some other crisis. With radios it's mostly a matter of keeping stations running and making sure the population knows that a battery powered (or crank powered) radio such as a car radio will work during a power outage. That's one of the few reliable ways of mass-communicating important information during power outages.

17
frozenport 2 days ago 3 replies      
The NPR One radio app costs me an extra $20 dollars a month due to high data usage. And NPR gets none of that cash. If my phone had user facing FM tuning I could probably contribute directly to content creators.

I wonder if shutting down FM and replacing it with much more expensive mobile data is a conspiracy by cellular carriers?

18
Aoyagi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sure, why keep something that's cheap and easily accessible operational when you can have something that's easier to monetise, track, and whatnot...
19
voltagex_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
DAB+ sounds terrible to me compared to a (tuned) FM station - AFAICT it's 48kbit AAC.
20
ringe 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is all about lobbying politicians. Very hard to understand why they want to set aside separate bandwidth for different sorts of media, when Internet access would provide all we needed.

We have digital radio, digital television broadcast, separate emergency frequencies and so goes the list.

What about gathering around standard that work and are already in place? What about making cell phone and Internet connectivity more robust?

But no. Let's throw billions in taxes down the drain. For instance: The emergency network fails when there's a storm. Then we're back to RHF!

From the inhabitant perspective, this is all a power party. A few people with high positions get to make big decisions and pat each other's back. I'm sure the CEOs of the businesses getting the contracts are good at patting backs too.

Good thing we already pay so much taxes we don't even notice the difference.

Except for the bumpy roads and understaffed elderly homes.

21
msh 2 days ago 12 replies      
I know I am properly a outlier but how many people on HN actually listens to radio over FM/DAB/Other non IP systems?

I dont remember when I last listened to radio. Even in the car the entertainment is one or more of the following from the connected phone:

- Streaming or locally stored music- Podcasts (which may include shows produced by radio stations).- Audiobooks.

At home its the same, either played directly on the playback device (sonos) or from the phone.

I really dont see the allure of flow radio, I hate listening to something I have no control over and if there are commercials its even worse.

For my sake they could shutdown all radio broadcasts and use the bandwidth for mobile broadband. (Ok, maybe keep a single station running for emergency broadcasts).

22
gumby 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like that the UK will switch over once usage reaches 50% -- abandoning a huge number of listeners! They should abandon it when it becomes vestigial -- say more than L5K/listener/year or something like that.

Clearly money or techno-determinism is at play.

23
barking 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have never liked FM radio. Far too much time wasted fiddling with telescopic aerials.I've always listened to AM broadcasts in preference. I don't listen to much radio at all any more except via podcasts.
24
sweetjesus 2 days ago 0 replies      
What they should do is turn off the spectrum a bit each year ranging from the top frequency down. That way people can adjust, stations can move on the dial, and there is no cold turkey. In the US this might mean I could hear my favorite Top-40(tm)songs only 24*60mins/4mins/40songs times a day, (and who knows if I would be willing to buy [obnoxious furniture store ad] furniture any more at that rate) but it would be a resonable way to do it.
25
vassy 2 days ago 2 replies      
DAB radio in my car stopped working and it costs 650 to fix. The service guys said they have to replace the whole centre console. As I won't pay that much, it's FM radio or Bluetooth for me.
26
riffic 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like a severely premature move.
27
tyfon 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a Norwegian I support this. However it would be better to focus on 4g + streaming rather than DAB.
28
darkerside 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some simple math- 1,500 crowns * 2M unequipped cars = 3B crown

That's 3B in capital costs (plus the cost of radios in unequipped homes) to save 250M/year. Seems expensive, but not totally out of the realm of reason?

29
oli5679 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to note how valuable spectrum is for mobile internet use. Think about the bandwidth taken up by FM radio broadcasting next time your in a city with your phone struggling with sluggish connection.
30
m23khan 2 days ago 1 reply      
What are there plans for the AM frequency? I rely heavily on my AM radio stations here in Canada to get my daily dose of local/national/international news!!
31
Sami_Lehtinen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finland used DAB since 1998. It was given up on 2005 because nobody actually used it.
32
a1studmuffin 2 days ago 5 replies      
Don't most smartphones have emergency broadcasts built-in these days? Who doesn't have their phone on them when they're driving in a car?
33
lightedman 2 days ago 0 replies      
For more channels? I would've thought a country like Norway would use that bandwidth to make some sort of high-power long-range public-access network.
34
douche 2 days ago 2 replies      
As a US citizen, I cannot imagine a world without FM radio. It's almost the only option for in-vehicle audio. I've heard of such a thing as AM radio, but outside of billboards stating that accident information on interstate highways is available via that frequency, I have no connection to it. I've heard pray-tell that NPR broadcasts on such frequencies as well, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.

I suspect that Clearchannel and the other one that have effectively bought up monopoly rights to the FM spectrum would fight this tooth and nail.

35
paulofalcao 2 days ago 0 replies      
So stupid, I am completely against this.
12
Graphviz in the browser mdaines.github.io
320 points by TAForObvReasons  3 days ago   68 comments top 19
1
olragon 2 days ago 2 replies      
2
afomi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice to see Graphviz trending.

I created http://agile.pics a couple years ago based on the .js graphviz library.

The site is a thin wrapper that renders Graphviz of Sequence Diagrams from GitHub gists.

Example: http://www.agile.pics/gist/163647fe40ae4911e469

3
reconbot 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is a beautiful thing. D3 can do a lot but very few programs have replicated what graphviz's dot can do.
4
neandrake 2 days ago 3 replies      
Phabricator had allowed for specifying dot notation in their markdown (remarkup) which would use graphviz to render the images in the comment. I loved this feature but it was removed due to potential exploits [0]. Is anyone familiar with how graphiviz-as-a-service could be possible while addressing these concerns?

[0] https://hackerone.com/reports/88395, https://secure.phabricator.com/T9408

5
afterburner 2 days ago 1 reply      
I see plenty of libraries and tools for displaying a graph that has been defined in text code. Is there a really easy tool for generating graphs with a gui, easily and intuitively, and converting that into text? The solutions I've found don't make the node and edge creation easy enough.
6
macawfish 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is very cool. I love graphs, they're really expressive.

P.S. if you're interested, just the other day I posted a related experiment of mine on Show HN ... https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13308150

7
greenail 3 days ago 2 replies      
Seems much like this: http://cpettitt.github.io/project/dagre-d3/latest/demo/inter... what are the differences?
8
eridal 3 days ago 5 replies      
Nice work!

I needed to use something to render directed graph in the browser and the biggest problem was the download size.

This library is 851KB gzip, which is way better than the 1.3MB I was using.

Maybe being able to bundle the engines (and output format) as separate modules could reduce its size?

So once again, great work!

9
arnocaj 1 day ago 0 replies      
The hairball problem sometimes has solutions. this is a filtering soltuion which works with all general layout methods: http://visone.info/wiki/index.php/Backbone_Layout

It also scales for large graphs

10
pmiller2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Graphviz is great. I did a project in undergrad that used https://github.com/jrfonseca/xdot.py to render data structures into a nice, pretty, visible form.
11
lacampbell 2 days ago 1 reply      
I actually had no idea that graphviz was actually a graph description language until I clicked on that link. I had used it before, but as a ruby gem, so I thought it was just a library. So thanks!
12
markc 2 days ago 0 replies      
13
rch 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does a dot->gis conversion exist? Would anyone aside from me want such a thing?

I'd like to render complex graphs with Mapnik, as I do for OSM (which is just a graph after all).

14
baby 2 days ago 1 reply      
I could never use this to make a callgraph in a project. Probably because I have two many lines. How does a .dot file looks for you?
15
artursapek 2 days ago 1 reply      
So this is a JS client that calls a C file that calls graphviz libraries? And it renders the output SVG? Very cool.
16
Klasiaster 2 days ago 1 reply      
Support for this would be very useful in a Jupyter notebook.
17
dorianm 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is also Graphiz compiled to JS which works: https://github.com/mdaines/viz.js
18
amckinlay 2 days ago 1 reply      
Those layouts besides dot are truly horrible.
19
EIGHTime 2 days ago 1 reply      
13
Poet: I cant answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poems washingtonpost.com
306 points by danso  20 hours ago   178 comments top 30
1
cderwin 12 hours ago 14 replies      
If she had known the answer, would that make the question any better?

I remember back when I was in high school, I always sort of assumed that the authors of the poems we were tested on wouldn't be able to answer the ridiculous questions on our assessments. But even if they did, I've never been able to figure out what skills these questions were testing. If poems are open to interpretation, isn't it reasonable to think that two equally skilled readers would arrive at different conclusions? Which is to say: Is the answer really objective?

In any case, the state of standardized testing is miserable, and unfortunately from all accounts I have heard it is worse abroad. I don't think this should be much of a surprise to anyone.

2
literallycancer 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I read parts of the article, skipped a bit, read the questions 32-36 and her remarks. And I don't think there is anything wrong with the questions.

Maybe she's just trying too hard to make a point, but in many cases it seems like she just can't read or doesn't understand the question(?).

E.g. 36 - "The poet reveals the speakers feelings mainly by ", then she goes on to say that most of the answers are viable, but clearly the question says "mainly", indicating you are supposed to choose the "F using similes and metaphors to describe them" since there's much more of those.

About 35 - "The imagery in lines 16 through 19 helps the reader understand " she says that

"And of course theres an argument to be made for A, I did shift into this mood TODAY."

But the question is about lines 16-19, which don't mention any attitude changes, so A clearly can't be the right answer.

Etc., etc.

I'm sorry, but being the author doesn't and shouldn't guarantee a perfect score.

3
dsr_ 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Predicted, mostly, by Isaac Asimov in 1954:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Immortal_Bard

(TL;DR with spoiler: Time machine brings Shakespeare back to the current age, where he takes a class on his own work and is flunked.)

4
oddlyaromatic 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought a lot of what we learned about poems in school was overly prescriptive, and my friends and I could often invent and justify other meanings. But, unlike with multiple choice, in assignments and exams we were supposed to do exactly that. Exploring what something "might mean" is one of the ways to get into a poem. I mean, I still thought that how we studied poetry was not a very good way. But now I see it could have been much worse!
5
forgotpwtomain 11 hours ago 3 replies      
> Im just down with a sniffly case/of sudden-self-loathing-syndrome an unexpected extra serving/ of just-for-now-self-hate.

How do these terrible poets even make it on to the curriculum / standardized-tests?

The author suggests:

> My poems are a whole lot cheaper than Mary Olivers or Jane Kenyons, so theres that.

What about all the classics in the public domain?! I read a lot independently as a kid but I recall that we didn't read a single English 'classic' in school until grade 7 or 8 (everything else was scholastic co. for teens / young adult junk..)

I don't have a particular side to take on the standardized testing debate, but it's probably worth mentioning that countries with extremely successful public education systems (China, USSR) used a great deal of it -- so at the least that's probably not the problem with the US public education system.

6
b2600 11 hours ago 2 replies      
In the comedy movie "Back to School", wealthy business man Thornton Melon hires Kurt Vonnegut to write an essay for him on Kurt Vonnegut for English Literature class. The professor knows Melon did not write the essay and tells him "Whoever did write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut!." He got an F.
7
Confiks 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> [do you] remember the question about a talking pineapple on a New York test in 2012?

This story about "The Hare and the Pineapple" seems to have been debunked credulously some time ago: http://ideas.time.com/2012/05/04/what-everyone-missed-on-the...

I can of course understand that it hints to the sentiment of resentment about the state of standardized testing.

> The fable described several animals assuming that the pineapple must have a trick up its sleeve that would enable the immobile fruit to win the race, and when they discovered that it didnt, they ate it. Test-takers were asked: Why did they eat the pineapple? The correct answer: because the animals were annoyed. And who was the wisest of the animals? An owl that was never mentioned in the passage [of the Daily News article].

> The item [The Hare and the Pineapple] went through a regular review process and has been used since 2004 in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, and Florida as well as Chicago, Fort Worth and Houston. (Alabama used it for seven years, Delaware for five.) And in the parlance of the industry, the questions perform as they are supposed to both in New York and nationally. That means it reliably measures the ability of students to read a passage and answer questions or make inferences from it and that the series of questions can differentiate between higher-performing and lower-performing students.

8
kingkawn 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Why are we testing anyone on poems? The point is to be exposed to the possibilities of inducing emotional transformation through cultural creation and consumption. What is there to test about that other than, "did you feel it? Could you make something yourself that would also feel like something was happening? Do it." There's no proper interpretation, no expert opinion worth anything at all except for the salary the expert manages to squeeze out of people overly wed to the concept of correctness.
9
ezoe 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It reminds me a story of an Japanese test.A Japanese school was going to test student from the text of Grave of the Fireflies by Akiyuki Nosaka.It so happens there was a daughter of the author in the student.She came back home and ask her father what was he thinking when he write that novel.The father, who is also the author, said, "I was trying so hard to meet the deadline."

So she answered so in the tomorrow's test "Explain the intent of the author when he write this novel", and she failed.

10
stillsut 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The analogy is variable naming.

The skill they're testing in language arts on standardized tests is similar to skill of naming variables, objects, functions, in programming. Famously called one of the only 'hard' problems in coding.

Sure you could use your own house rules in your code and the program would execute perfectly. And sure you could follow some mechanistic system: CamelCase for classes, snake_case for functions.

But how descriptive, how much to abbreviate, how much to abstract into a concatenated phrase representing an algorithm is subjective, but worthwhile to learn nonetheless. Knowing the correct answer to this multiple choice means noticing the context, and picking out what matters the most.

11
cjmoran 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to be about on-par with the way high-school English is taught, honestly (at least in my area). I remember my English teacher dedicating a full class period to the FIRST TWO WORDS in "The Scarlet Letter" (the words being "A throng"). I found it absolutely nonsensical and told her as much, but even though much of the class agreed, she shut down our complaints and kept teaching this way.

Later in the year she began scrutinizing yet another book at the molecular level, but one of the kids in our class was the son of this book's author. He ran our teacher's analysis by his father, the author, and the guy found our teacher's reasoning hilariously inaccurate.

I'm all for teaching kids literacy, but there's only so much meaning that can be gleaned from any given passage of text. At some point you're assigning meaning where there really is none, and I felt this was prevalent in some SAT questions and other standardized tests I endured during K-12. This was in a very well-regarded school district: CHCCS in North Carolina.

12
goodjam 7 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a wonderfull joke in talmud when two rabbis argue about some problem. One says: Let's call Jehova and ask him directly! So Jehova comes but the other rabbi tells him: God go away, you did your thing now let us wise men discuss about this. God says oh my god you are right and he leaves.
13
cixin 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree that it's useful to expose children to literature and art, but it feels like there's no way to objectively test it...

Maybe creative writing/literature courses should give marks for the most upvotes on Reddit (kidding, but probably more objective than current methods).

14
coldcode 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I still can't understand how standardized testing is useful for anything. The only true result of an educational system isn't apparent until years later. I assume it's popular for political and business reasons (testing companies are all for profit) which ultimately have nothing to do with children learning.
15
caseysoftware 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Years ago, I volunteered with a high school drama department and helped them design and build sets, lighting, etc. At one point, I went along on a competition where they delivered a piece written by the director.

During scoring, they got near perfect marks across the board on delivery, characterization, etc... and were hammered on "interpretation of the author's work." I asked one of the judges about it at the time and was told "they obviously didn't study the author's other works to understand his intent."

Our education system is broken.. in silly and sometimes dangerous ways.

16
kstenerud 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the same problem as any kind of training or testing system: The people employed to build and manage it are neither in prestigious nor high paying jobs, so there is little competition for their position, and little incentive for creative, thoughtful people to fill those positions.

It actually gets worse, because the bureaucracy mires everything in so much red tape that innovation becomes all but an impossibility, as any independent thought is quickly stamped out.

So yeah, it's no wonder that the tests are written by the dim witted and unimaginative.

17
tehabe 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If I could just change one thing in education. I would outlaw multiple choice questions.
18
mkagenius 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember my teacher teaching us a poem, dissecting it line by line. It took 1 month or more to complete the poem.

On most of the lines, he was overthinking and trying to find out some sort of hidden meaning in it. It was annoying.

19
sambe 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Regardless of what you think of the tests, it might just be possible that writing poems and analysing them is not an identical skill. I'm pretty sure that most professional sportsmen can't analyse why they play a particular shot or pass (other than "it looked good, he was open" etc).

There's probably a separate argument about why we'd want to train generations of passable poetry critics though...

20
uniformlyrandom 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The questions are surely absurd, and common core is a disaster. But I do not understand the (self-)basing of the author. Self-hatred and self-doubt are very usual emotions for teenagers, so these poems actually are very much relatable for 7/8 grade students.
21
halspero 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Problem is that knowledge can't be measured because it's not a list of contents that can be checked off. Deep knowledge in one area is by its nature integrated with other areas. Thus exams and testing make as much sense as ranking authors by spelling bee.
22
DenisM 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Woody Allen has covered this problem in one of his movies. This clip is under 3 minutes and worth watching in my opinion.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sXJ8tKRlW3E

23
dageshi 13 hours ago 1 reply      
cixin, your comment is presently [dead], it seems like you've posted too much since your account was created (your comments seem fine to me).
24
linuxhansl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps related, an old piece by Richards Feynman on bad physics text books: http://www.textbookleague.org/103feyn.htm
25
automatwon 11 hours ago 2 replies      
any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich

English 101, Homework Assignment: Write a 8 page literary essay about book-X

I presented my thesis and draft to the the instructor. She told me that I was completely wrong and that this paper would receive an inadequate grade. I admit, like all my other English papers, this one was BS, too. That doesn't inherently mean it's incorrect, though. I went to the library, sifted through a bunch of academic journals (which the instructor believed to be the only legitimate source of truth, unsurprisingly), and found an article with a thesis and supporting evidence that paralleled my argument! I showed the instructor this paper, and just like that she said "oh, okay. The thesis makes sense." I received an A+ on the paper.

Informatics 101 'Social Networks', Pop quiz! "HTML is for the following... (check all that apply)"

Times up! The correct answer is "specifying the LOOK and FEEL of the webpage."

It was 2011, and the professor of this "Social Networks" class, ironically, had been throwing 'Web 2.0' all over his powerpoint slides. I politely consulted him after class, as to not embarrass him that HTML with inline styling is frowned upon, and styling should be specified in CSS stylesheets. It was a matter of principle, rather than pragmatism, that I wasn't penalized for this invalid quiz question. He responded "we can talk about JAVA and the document-object model if you'd like." I immediately dropped the course.

Oh, and he has tenure. (Fortunately in the 'Informatics' department, rather than my own Computer Science department)

My point with these two anecdotes is that in the case of the 'Social Networks' professor I could have, in theory, filed a complaint to university should the professor refuse to acknowledge the invalidity of his grading and material. The English professor asymmetrically held power. My grade is dependent on what she deems a valid interpretation. Sure there's a "rubric", but the same thesis I had went from a D to an A+ in a matter of seconds.

In both cases, I grew my distaste of academia. Despite abhorring my English class, I do appreciate nonsense literature. It satirizes the intellectuals randomly throwing around fancy words like 'Web 2.0', 'Java' and 'document-object-model' in the same sentence, the intellectuals who base validity solely on academic authority, the intellectuals who try to standardize intellect. I leave you with the poem Jabberwocky, by the master Lewis Carroll.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

26
hmate9 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Analysing poetry was the stupidest thing I had to do in school.
27
spodek 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Tests aren't for students, they're for administrators.

When you process that view, educational systems make more sense, however tragic.

28
tinus_hn 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you can answer the questions in the test correctly your level is the at least the highest level that can be measured by the test.

Why would it be a reasonable assumption that her level is the highest that can be measured? Should the test be changed so mediocre people can get the maximum score?

29
z3t4 8 hours ago 1 reply      
jusy like with IQ tests the right answer is not the most logical or deepest, but the most naive.
30
JoeAltmaier 11 hours ago 0 replies      
English teachers serve to train a new generation of English teachers. Its a strange stable loop that formed in our educational system. The rest of us look on in confusion as they babble about imaginary features of written works that only they are competent to adjudicate.
14
Facebook will lose 80% of users by 2017, say Princeton researchers (2014) theguardian.com
259 points by NicoJuicy  3 days ago   205 comments top 49
1
ysavir 3 days ago 13 replies      
> John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, from the US university's mechanical and aerospace engineering department, have based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term. The charts produced by the Google Trends service show Facebook searches peaked in December 2012 and have since begun to trail off.

Well, yeah... The more people are already familiar with facebook, the less they will be googling/researching it. If anything, considering the popularity of Facebook at the time, it should have been seen as a sign of vitality.

I'm pretty disappointed that the Princeton researchers were so blinded by googlinums that they forget those googlinums don't exist in a vacuum. Probably why mechanical and aerospace engineers aren't fit to make predictions of a social nature (among other engineers, too, sadly).

2
paulhodge 3 days ago 4 replies      
Is this being posted for humor value?

This was written in 2014, the researchers saw a small trend and extrapolated that the trend would continue, causing 80% user loss from 2014 to 2017.

Since 2014, FB's active user count has increased from 1 billion to 1.7 billion and the stock price from ~60 to 120.

This article is a great example of a very terrible and very wrong prediction.

3
robobenjie 3 days ago 3 replies      
4
cblock811 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of doing a math problem, getting an answer, and saying "well the math is correct so this value must be as well" and not actually thinking if the results really make sense.
5
readhn 3 days ago 4 replies      
its impossible to predict when FB will die (most companies die). its like timing a market top, we know its coming but getting exact timing is hard.

just some anecdotal facts: i know lots of my friends (mid age working professionals) realize that FB is a waste of time and if anything try to avoid it more and more. its just a matter of time before other platform takes over.

6
quickConclusion 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think Facebook's demise is closer than we believe, and that the main culprit will be Wall Street.

Given that the Street wants the stock price to always go up, future earnings has to go up. Hard to do with less user growth, because 1.5B already. More ads is hard if you want to keep the platform interesting. Still, room to grow in lesser FB-developed countries, with FB benefiting from economy growth and ad market growing there. But how much growth left in main earning market (US) without destroying the user experience?

With strong leadership, FB could say "to hell with higher and higher profits, I am happy to run a very profitable utility, not plastered with ads, a la Craiglist". But Zuckerberg seems all talk there. And he is trying to sell a lot of his stock. Yes, he's trying to retain control too, but that will be very hard (see current litigation on that). And employees don't like stocks that are not going up.

With less user and financial growth, less momentum, fewer interesting challenges, FB can slowly turn into Yahoo/AOL, and people may start saying bad things about the company (users + employees), creating a bad momentum. It would be hard to reverse, especially if FB is managed quarterly by earnings, as opposed to strong leadership.

Also, I get the feeling that FB got a small temporary break with Trump. A Hillary victory may have meant many very senior executives leaving to the new administration, possibly accelerating FB's loss of momentum.

Obviously, lots of talk here, many "ifs" and "maybe", and no hard data. That's why in the end I am not shorting the stock today. But wondering if I should.

7
thatguy99 3 days ago 1 reply      
Firstly:https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly...Facebook's MAU is now at 1.7B users (That's almost 1 out of 4 people on the planet!) and is growing at about 10% per year.

Secondly:Saying that Facebook's popularity will rise and fall in a similar trend that Myspace did is like saying Google's popularity would rise and fall like Ask Jeeves's.

Thirdly:Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp

Conclusion:Big brother Zuck is here to stay!

8
niftich 3 days ago 0 replies      
Back in 2008-2010, FB conquered instant messaging [1]. Since then, other services proliferated, including WhatsApp (which they wisely bought), and others, but FB Chat, rebranded as Messenger, is still a hugely important platform.

Instagram is growing among the demographic that Facebook first conquered when it first came out and is vying [2][3] for Snapchat (partially by its original premise, partially by copying its features [4]) to be the most popular platform for 18-25.

Meanwhile the original Facebook's audience is aging, and most of the time it's an event scheduler (like Google Calendar), or photo album store (like Flickr), or a tumble-log of memes (like Tumblr), but lots of people still run the app on their phones and wander around with Location enabled. On desktops, a ton of people don't clear their cookies and the Like widget on websites lets Facebook know what sites they visit. Some people have taken to using Facebook Auth to log in to medium-value sites they visit less often -- like to buy concert tickets.

All this contributes enormous value to Facebook's ad ecosystem, which is in second place to Google, and together those two are the only real players [5].

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11107321#11114518 [2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12799794#12800418 [3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12799794#12800957 [4] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12210324 [5] https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/814842452003659776

9
bluedino 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm almost two years FB free but I don't see anyone else quitting, just allowing it to suck them in 24/7. And new users are always joining.
10
arjie 2 days ago 0 replies      
This made me go back and find a couple of Facebook threads right after IPO that made predictions:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1719975 (Facebook is not worth $33 billion) - This was more than a year before the IPO. The market cap is 10x that today. Lots of poor predictions but also some cautious optimism from some people.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4002730 (FB down 8% at opening) - Some rubbish number pattern matching and lots of doom and gloom. Interesting

11
maverick_iceman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I read the linked paper and it's of a very poor quality. They fit an epidemiological model to the current data and then extrapolate it blindly to the future. (The fact that it worked in the case of MySpace is not as impressive as it sounds since by 2014 MySpace was long dead.)
12
giis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I found myself spending/wasting time with fb. I tried to close the account couple times but few days later reopened the account.

Last year, I tried to close the account again. First unsubscribed from all email notifications from fb. And downloaded all my content from fb. Then closed the account. But this time too I logged in twice but made sure instead of logout I closed the account both times.That's it - its been more than 8months now. I didn't bother to login to fb. Honestly, I feel much peaceful now.

Last week decided to quit, en.lichess.org its been week . let's see :-)

13
dmalvarado 3 days ago 0 replies      
"John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler ... have based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term. The charts produced by the Google Trends service show Facebook searches peaked in December 2012 and have since begun to trail off" as more users started using their phone instead of google to experience the Facebook.
14
bhouston 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think that this may be true in that the desktop app has considerably lost users in favor of the mobile app.

Search traffic has decreased significantly:

https://www.google.ca/trends/explore?date=all&q=facebook,yah...

15
syphilis2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Based on Google Trends, which is the source used in the paper, Facebook is only 43% as trendy now as it was at its peak in 2012. Compared to the past, Facebook is as trendy now as it was in 2009.

The irSIR model that was predicted by the paper is about 2 years off from where we are now (the "late" model is about 1.5 years off). Repeating the study with information up to today and the new prediction is that Facebook's Google Trends measure will drop below 20% within 2 years.

https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F02y1...

16
pfarnsworth 3 days ago 0 replies      
A great example of how most headline-grabbing "studies" are garbage.
17
slantaclaus 3 days ago 3 replies      
Ever tried to quit facebook? What happened?
18
Arkaad 2 days ago 0 replies      
The article says "80% of its peak user base within the next three years", but the title says "by 2017"?

Also, I'd have liked to know to what Facebook would lose its users. During the Pokmon GO craze Facebook and other social sites lost temporally their users before they came back.

19
nl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the most interesting thing about this is the previous HN discussions[1][2].

It's worth noting that even back then people thought it wasn't a great piece of research.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9096125

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7104904

20
pessimizer 3 days ago 0 replies      
21
CoryG89 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah, I totally didn't believe it then either. I wouldn't doubt they'll lose users one day, but I seriously doubt they'll lose many anytime soon.
22
crispytx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook still may lose 80% of users in the near future. AOL Instant Messenger used to be the shit and everybody used it...
23
conqrr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Have been using the Facebook eradicator plugin for a long time. No news feed, just the groups and messages. Perfect for me.
24
altitudinous 2 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook are smart and moving with the times - no doubt the original Fb blue website is losing hits etc but they move on with Instagram and Messenger which are more popular than ever - Insta I think is going through an intense growth phase at the moment
25
master_yoda_1 3 days ago 0 replies      
"John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, from the US university's mechanical and aerospace engineering department, have based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term"

Really amusing. Now people type facebook.com and open facebook app on mobile. This research is garbage.

26
donretag 3 days ago 0 replies      
"based their prediction on the number of times Facebook is typed into Google as a search term"

While it might have been common to go to a website by searching for it, accidentally or not, many interact with Facebook via a mobile app. Using google search trends will not account for this change in behavior.

27
ggregoire 3 days ago 3 replies      
> most companies die

I feel like Facebook and Google will never die, at least not during my life. Am I the only one?

28
macawfish 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a dream recently (after the election that shall not be named) that Facebook's stock was spiking like an airplane about to stall. Indeed, it did stall and crashed like a rock.

It feels to me like there is a reckoning coming that even Facebook is not immune to.

29
arkj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Phew!!! What a searchers. It just means fb is as or more popular than google. You dont need to go to princeton to guess that. The funny part is, you don't even need to read the article to make it out.
30
simonh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can FB really be compared to these diseases though? Maybe I'm nitpicking the details here but a lot of diseases, including bubonic plague mentioned in the article, kill a large proportion of their hosts.
31
codecamper 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hmm. and I was just wondering how much longer Google would last. How often do people really use Google? Most everyone I see is just taking & sharing photos / occasionally updating a facebook page.
32
chippy 3 days ago 1 reply      
These things seem to come in cycles - as one service begins and attacts users the other one declines. We are not seeing the alternative to Facebook yet. In other words users are not going someplace else...yet, but they probably will.
33
grigjd3 3 days ago 2 replies      
I recently quit Facebook, but I get the impression that I'm the exception.
34
mark-r 3 days ago 1 reply      
This really points out the danger of using an analogy to extrapolate other similarities. Bacteria don't live forever, but there's nothing to prevent Facebook users from being Facebook users forever.
35
waspleg 3 days ago 0 replies      
a lot of people have an app on their phone. that means no search.
36
jl6 2 days ago 0 replies      
They've already lost 80% of me.
37
xux 3 days ago 3 replies      
Whenever I see a prediction from academics, I'm reminded of this: http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/scientist-predicts-...

"Princeton professor predicts 99% chance of a Hillary Clinton win"

38
stevehiehn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe, but what if people just open the app now and don't search google for facebook?
39
automatwon 3 days ago 0 replies      
What a coincidence Snapchat is supposed to IPO in 2017...
40
ppierald 3 days ago 0 replies      
$58 in 2014, $120 today? Follow the money.
41
sporkologist 3 days ago 0 replies      
There may be a Facebook app to blame.
42
sebiche 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is proof that the signal-to-noise ratio of top links on HN is declining.
43
44
nso95 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is 2017
45
fivre 2 days ago 0 replies      
vkontakte fberyoad, bitches.
46
jwtadvice2 3 days ago 2 replies      
The comparison of Facebook to a disease is entertaining (if because it has a little bit of truth from a certain perspective). But I'm not sure that the model they chose is the right one to use to make predictions. So I think immediately the predictions have to be in question.

That said, I would like Facebook to go, and not only because of its repugnant behavior with regard to its partnership with the US and foreign governments for propaganda, censorship and surveillance.

About a decade ago developers tried exhaustively to make every app "social". The reason for doing so is that, after a certain threshold, having a community locked into your platform raises barriers to competition.

When it comes to large social media sites - Facebook now and Myspace before it - there can 'only be one'. There's only one place where large numbers of users can go. They don't want to post everything they think ten times to ten different communities.

This makes the kind of large scale social media network Facebook represents a "natural monopoly". It can not have competition, except in the form of potential successors to market capture.

This makes the "market" of social media look more like king-of-the-hill than it does efficient laissez faire competition.

The better solution for social media would be a distributed platform with no central ownership. This solves privacy, censorship, and surveillance concerns and limits propaganda to a certain degree as well.

It also creates an environment where there can be competition. Now companies are free to create different client software with different feature sets at different costs. So distributing the infrastructure for social media addresses the enormous problem of market failure as well.

47
master_yoda_1 3 days ago 1 reply      
48
forgingahead 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fake news!!

/s

49
edblarney 2 days ago 0 replies      
FB usage has shifted.

I wonder how many people use it in the very social sense anymore, and how many use it for basic messaging.

15
GitHub Enterprise SQL Injection blog.orange.tw
330 points by urig  1 day ago   46 comments top 7
1
treehau5 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Although I am impressed by the work, I dislike these writeups.

In similar bug bounty posts, a user will post all this brilliant setup code, these tools I never heard of to decompile binaries, view source, get through obfuscation, etc.

Then, when you get to the meat and bones, they just go "Ok and vulnurability is here, and you exploit it like this. Ta data."

It's very anti-climatic, and I don't learn much in the process. I would like to learn more about what your thought process is like after you get the code. How did you narrow your focus on ActiveRecord? Did you just know from seeing it? I would love to learn more. Do expert pen-testers have this checklist of exploits they try?

Sorry if it sounds like whiny, I would just love it if these had more meat in the actual finding of the exploit as they did the setup.

2
Illniyar 19 hours ago 4 replies      
It still boggles my mind that sql injection is a thing in 2016, let alone in a modern codebase from a great software company with amazing engineers.

Somehow we (the programming profession) are doing this whole thing wrong, and I'm not sure why.

3
qz_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Props to OP for finding the vulnerability without knowing Ruby on Rails.
4
tericho 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's hidden way down at the bottom, but I found the Timeline to be my favourite part :)

Edit: Can't see to format it correctly, just check the original source.

5
lukasm 1 day ago 3 replies      
For those that this website is marked as dangerous http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:z7yyaxI...
6
mankash666 21 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm curious if the author decompiled binaries generated from C code. In that case, I understand how one could "dis assemble" binaries, but generating readable C code, is that possible?
7
sytse 1 day ago 2 replies      
Glad to see the communication between Orange and GitHub went great. Both did the right thing after discovering the flaw. Orange reported it and GitHub fixed it and allowed Orange to publish a blog post. I have to admit I'm a bit of a fanboy of HackerOne.

The custom SQL query is something that is hard to prevent. It is still hard to use ActiveRecord/Arel for everything. I'm sure GitLab is not immune to it.

GitHub chooses to encrypt their source code to prevent modifications. Our experience at GitLab is that customer modifications don't cause a lot of extra load on our support team. But of course that might be caused by having different architectures and customers.

16
Reasons not to use Skype (2012) stallman.org
219 points by dsr12  1 day ago   163 comments top 34
1
wonko1 1 day ago 4 replies      
Another reason not to use Skype is that their support is pretty poor.

They've deleted Skype numbers from my account without warning. Someone linked my and my wife's account because we used them on the same PC, and refuse to unlink Skype and Microsoft accounts.

I'd love to find an alternative, but given that everybody already has Skype accounts the lock-in is pretty significant.

Don't much like the alternatives Stallman proposes. Using long distance phone calls seems worse than Skype, phone companies have provided governments with even more access to user data than most tech companies.

2
mankash666 1 day ago 3 replies      
Stallman claims Skype isn't encrypted end-to-end and then suggests using "free" alternatives that are not in the least bit security concious or end-to-end encrypted.
3
tscs37 1 day ago 2 replies      
For once I agree with RS; I haven't used Skype in ages, particularly because it's just crappy software.

Honestly, I'd view Skype as malware at this point, the number of exploits is too damn high and it barely integrates with anything ever. It's the kind of integration you'd normally see from a cheap car purchase where the Entertainment System is a iPhone 2 taped to the seats and the trunk smells like dead raccoon.

4
danellis 1 day ago 4 replies      
"The most obvious alternative is a long-distance phone card."

What part of Stallman's position makes him fine with communicating and encouraging people to communicate using switches running proprietary software?

For that matter, how does he justify using the Internet rather than anything other than community networks running open source routing software?

5
wodenokoto 1 day ago 1 reply      
How does he feel about landline phones? The entire thing is just as closed source as Skype and even more easily monitored.

And assuming he is okay with landline, would Stallman call a cellphone? What if it was a free software cellphone?

6
ycmbntrthrwaway 1 day ago 4 replies      
Is there any usable alternative for voice calls? Ring and Tox had problems setting up connection from android to debian linux last time I tried both of them.

I really want to replace Skype with something so I can stop using Google Play. Signal is not an option as it is only available via Google Play too.

[0] https://ring.cx/[1] https://tox.chat/

7
alkonaut 1 day ago 3 replies      
It sucks - but as is always the case with free vs nonfree software - there are few alternatives.

Among the few alternatives available are Google (hangouts) and Facebook.

Stallman waves his hand and mentions Jitsi and Mumble which aren't comparable in features to Skype (Chat + Voice + video + desktop sharing on all platforms including mobile). Jitsi does look promising but not quite complete.

A chat/voice app is like a social network, it has a critical mass so I can't switch unless everyone else does or my alternative is interoperable.

Software being free as in speech is perhaps twice as important to me as it is for the average user, but that still means I'd rather have a polished proprietary app that spies on me, than an unpolished free alternative. Skype is exceptionally bad, so shouldn't be too hard to beat in terms of polish.

8
janekm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Reasons to use Skype:- you need to talk to someone, and by the time you've explained why you don't want to use Skype you could have already been done
9
Fnoord 1 day ago 0 replies      
Skype? Ah, 2012. We're now in 2017, and in this country Skype just isn't the standard (I'm not saying it isn't used anymore). What is the standard? Well on phones, people seem to be using WhatsApp, with a movement who swapped to Telegram. There's some people who use FaceTime, but they're Apple users. There's some people who advocate Signal, but I know nobody who uses that. Then for gaming there is Discord which I started using in 2016 which Just Works (tm), has a feature set and UI from this decennium, and doesn't require one to run their own server (unlike TS/Mumble/Ventrilo/..). Finally, in 2016 I swapped to a different phone plan; unlimited phone calls is part of my (very cheap) subscription for my phone. The disadvantage of the unlimited plan is GSM's 'bad' quality (I generally don't have an issue w/it), and it is 100% being logged by telcos & nation states. But so is Skype.

To be fair, I don't think RMS would be happy with any of my choices. Discord is open source, but the servers aren't. WhatsApp is proprietary, and owned by Facebook (Skype is proprietary and owned by Microsoft). Signal is only distributed via GCM which is a proprietary platform (F-Droid is blocked).

10
tonyedgecombe 1 day ago 1 reply      
The only reason I need to not use Skype is that it is shit.
11
snvzz 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is true of all IM that isn't based on open protocols and has mandatory end-to-end encryption. Which is why I use tox [0].

[0] https://tox.chat/

12
mrleiter 1 day ago 2 replies      
The problem with his first argument is that it is a logical fallacy (affirming a disjunct). Just because one does not say A, does not mean that it automatically must be B. He says "most likely", but even this is not certain. I agree, it feels that it must be true. But then again this is an inductive fallacy. Simply because most companies we know that have acted in such a way actually were eavesdropping on its customers, one cannot say with certainty that this is a general rule.
13
wuschel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good points.

Check out as a possible alternative:

1) riot.im2) matrix.org

14
lightedman 1 day ago 2 replies      
Reason to use skype:

So your dead account doesn't get immediately compromised and you screw your friends over in the process as your account starts sending out malware-infested links.

glares at the seven or so users in his blocked list, users that jumped ship to Telegram and left their Skype accounts open to exploitation

15
fsiefken 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use the Matrix messaging client riot.fm instead
16
FabHK 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have experience with Wire? It sounds good:

* open source, code on github

* e2e encryption (apparently derivative of Signal's Axolotl double ratchet)

* chat/voice/video, and group chats (all encrypted always)

* based in Switzerland

* clients for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web

* can sign up with phone number or email or username

* reasonably responsive on twitter

* yada yada yada

I use it on iOS and quite like it, but not that many people on it yet :-/

17
faragon 1 day ago 0 replies      
And again, Stallman is right. Despite how much convenient, cheap, and easy Skype could be.

P.S. Is today the "day against Stallman" in Hacker News? Come on.

18
whack 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's hard to take this article seriously when it starts out with stuff like "A nonfree program denies users freedom, which is unjust in itself." If you don't want to use Skype, I can respect that. But to accuse the developers of moral failure just because they didn't make their software free... That is an absurd view of morality.
19
hobarrera 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the main reason not to use skype is the lack of network effect.

Since so few people use skype, everybody else has little motivation to use skype, ad nauseum.

Honestly, the only people I've seen that use skype are recruiters. Other than that it seems pretty much dead.

20
raverbashing 1 day ago 2 replies      
What is a good solution that allows dialing to pots? Google voice and what else?
21
joe563323 1 day ago 2 replies      
Skype is owned by Microsoft. No worries it will die out eventually.
22
edpichler 1 day ago 1 reply      
I feel Skype is abandoned by Microsoft, but I do not have other option. Same with Google Voice.
23
xchip 1 day ago 0 replies      
Agreed, use anything else (but whatsapp)
24
benevol 1 day ago 0 replies      
Understanding what Microsoft does with Skype tells you everything about Microsoft.

The only reasonable conclusion: Switch from Windows to Linux.

25
tiatia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Open Source Minisip (discontinued?) offered encryption over VOIP calls:http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/minisip

It is amazing that Skype still has not been re-engineered and and open source lone released. http://www.oklabs.net/skype-reverse-engineering-the-long-jou...

26
falloutx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whats up so many Stallman posts lately?
27
briandear 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not a fan of Skype, but in one of Stallman's other articles he says:

"Public agencies exist for the people, not for themselves. When they do computing, they do it for the people. They have a duty to maintain full control over that computing so that they can assure it is done properly for the people. They must never allow control over the state's computing to fall into private hands."

This guy has a lot of faith in government and his treatise actually sounds rather Marxist. History is littered with public agencies that obstensiby exist for the "people," but in fact exist for no other reason than to enforce the power of the state. I don't trust government -- I endure it. Government is necessary in a way not dissimilar to the necessity of colonoscopies.

28
astrodust 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is apparently from 2012 but not labelled as such.
29
hoodoof 1 day ago 4 replies      
30
edblarney 1 day ago 0 replies      
"A nonfree program denies users freedom, which is unjust in itself. "

This is the worst reason to not use Skype.

The remaining reasons about surveillance etc. are reasonable reasons to not use Skype.

31
samkone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good for you Richard. Still don't care
32
roesel 1 day ago 7 replies      
I am not sure who this guy is, but he seems a little out of this world.
33
inian 1 day ago 5 replies      
"Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved." - Stallman's blog is not giving me the freedom to distribute the blog as please. It is infringing on my freedom.

Anyone else find this ironic / hilarious?

34
Radle 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Skype requires the use of a client program that is not free software; in other words, the users don't control it it controls them.

A nonfree program denies users freedom, which is unjust in itself. Making the ethical issue sharper, for you to use Skype is to encourage someone else to use Skype, which means you're pressuring someone else to surrender freedom as well. This is plenty of reason to refuse to use Skype, but there are more reasons."

How it pains to read such texts."Everything that's not open source is evil."

17
Reclaim Windows 10 Powershell Script github.com
310 points by maxt  1 day ago   249 comments top 25
1
mnadkvlb 1 day ago 5 replies      
I had been a long time Windows user, at home (W10) and work(7/Server/Datacenter). Windows had been getting just more and more intrusive like a malware since the last couple years. I hope they do something to stop that. I have recently moved to Fedora and it is just awesome. Pretty much everything works like amazing. Its not a complete replacement if you are gaming, nvidia drivers are a bit painful to install but everything else just works. Its been stable even after an update to Fedora 24->25. I am so amazed at how far linux has come. I am so satisfied with it that i am not moving back to Windows for home usage.

I hope Microsoft stops with auto-update, otherwise the alternatives are also catching up fast if you are not a gamer.

2
raffapen 1 day ago 2 replies      
Being heavily involved in setting up standard developer workstations, I consider this to be the only practical approach.It's way beyond any specific config item (including telemetry). This is a sure way to get to a stable and consistent configuration.

A few comments:

- It is better to split such a mega-script into a set of named scripts, so admins can mix-and-match their own configuration set.- The configuration set scripts should be re-entrant, that is, one can run it few times in a row, achieving the same stable result. This is an important principle because those scripts evolve over time until they are are stable, so the re-entrancy enabled the re-configuration game.

- Some configuration items are system-based while other are user-account-based. This means that the latter should be invoked automatically once a new user account is created.

- VM is your friend. Wash, rinse, repeat.

- It is not always wise to replace automation (PowerShell) invocations with direct registry modifications. Tradeoffs should be obvious.

- MDT setups should avoid direct system configuration wherever possible, and rely on configuration scripts instead.

- One of the features still not possible to script is setting the policy startup/shutdown/login/logout scripts. One can provide this manually in a base workstation image.

- Esp. on Windows systems prior to Windows 10: make sure PowerShell is stable - version and module-wise.

3
cwyers 1 day ago 13 replies      
I seriously doubt that Windows 10 is doing anything so grave as to require you to run some arbitrary PowerShell script you found on the Internet with elevated privileges. If you do not understand every single command in this thing, you should avoid it, and if you understand every single command in this, you don't need it.
4
bostand 1 day ago 6 replies      
I don't consider win10 telemetry that bad. You can dial it down a lot until it's just sending crash data when thing go bad. Pretty much all OSes have this.

What I really don't like however is Microsoft pushing garbage like candy crush to my machine without my consent.

5
tossedaway334 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stuff like this is fundamentally unworkable when the people pushing software updates are your adversaries. They already do stuff like ignore DNS settings and firewall rules to send harvested data back to microsoft. They will almost certainly break anything this does in the future too...
6
jmnicolas 1 day ago 2 replies      
We shouldn't have to fight the OS, this is ridiculous.

Before moving definitively to Linux I'm considering installing a proxy on my router, bloc all ports except one and just redirect Firefox and a few apps that need connectivity to this port.

I'm not a network guy though, might be complicated.

7
airencracken 1 day ago 7 replies      
Rather than continuing to struggle against these features which will continue to be added, why not use an operating system that respects your freedom?
8
druska 1 day ago 2 replies      
I recommend using Spybot Anti-Beacon [1], which is a safe way of disabling (or enabling) Windows 10 features.

[1] https://www.safer-networking.org/spybot-anti-beacon/

9
eli 1 day ago 3 replies      
If telemetry really bothers you, I think you'd be better off with a different OS
10
becarefulyo 1 day ago 4 replies      
Careful, by default this disables the lock screen.
11
maxt 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you prefer a Batch script there's also Make Windows 10 Great Again: https://gist.github.com/IntergalacticApps/675339c2b805b4c9c6...
12
TwoNineA 1 day ago 4 replies      
I wonder what MS employees think when every week a new tool pops up disabling data mining in their OS.
13
vocatus_gate 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the Tron project

https://reddit.com/r/TronScript

14
my123 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't recommend anyone to use all the script. Dial telemetry down to Basic and then disable Cortana.
15
MichaelMoser123 18 hours ago 0 replies      
the script changes some registry settings - did you check that it really stops snooping if you just set the registry settings and reboot? What if another update just enables the snooping back regardless of the registry setting?
16
aceperry 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I seem to remember a few other apps and scripts that do the same thing, but I also heard that they get out of date pretty quickly. Don't know if this is going to keep up with the updates, but it shows that this is an ongoing problem with Windows10.
17
novaleaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Warning: i tried turning Cortana off by following some powershell scripts (not this one though). ended up she's still on, but now my search functionality is broken. Nothing I did could fix it. Guess I need to reinstall windows if I ever want to get that back.
18
agumonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
A vast majority is Registry config values, could have avoided the powershell "version" here.
19
russellbeattie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have something like this for macOS turning off iCloud and killing .DS_store files, among other annoyances. I wouldn't recommend running this as is (neither does the author) but it's a nice list to pick and choose options from.
20
pjmlp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pity he missed the related shell scripts for the Apple and Google operating systems.
21
saghm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
> Restrict Windows Update P2P only to local network

I find this interesting as a security choice rather than completely disabling P2P updates, as I'd guess that a substantial number of users aren't in control of all machines on their network, and if the other computers on the network got their updates from peers outside the network, then you'll still end up getting the updates from those peers. Is completely disabling P2P updates not an option?

22
alkonaut 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to disable the screen magnifier? I press it several times a day by accident and it's really tricky to switch off...
23
BigChiefSmokem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Useless unless it also includes a way to prevent your privacy from being invaded my Google, Amazon, et al. Just more fear mongering from the ye old anti-Microsoft camp, (founded 1995).
24
spapas82 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hello, can anybody explain in simple words what this script does? How will it affect the behavior of my windows installation? Should I run it?

Thanks !

25
ape4 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd like PowerShell more if it wasn't MixedCase.
18
SpaceX receives FAA approval for return to flight [pdf] faa.gov
212 points by mhandley  2 days ago   48 comments top 6
1
jxcl 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a great video that explains the current thinking behind the cause of the explosion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcoTqhAM_g

2
trose 2 days ago 3 replies      
Great news! Anyone know when we can expect the next launch? I heard they're going to test the falcon heavy this year.
3
searine 2 days ago 1 reply      
The next few months are going to be back to back launches.

Let's hope Spacex can keep the pace.

4
ge96 2 days ago 2 replies      
Damn I didn't know that they were grounded. Glad to hear that they'll be flying again.
5
trothamel 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's mildly interesting that this is only for 7 Iridium-NEXT launches. An eight was recently added, but it will also have a pair of German GRACE-FO satellites attached to it, so it probably makes sense that the FAA would want to approve that one separately.
6
VanillaCafe 2 days ago 4 replies      
How wrong is it to think of "carbon composite" as "charcoal"?

Because with that conceptualization, it seems like an inherent risk to store liquid oxygen in a charcoal container on a rocket ship.

19
Lessons learned as a React contractor medium.com
304 points by prostoalex  3 days ago   163 comments top 29
1
armandososa 3 days ago 4 replies      
OK. Here's what I've learn after ~2 years of doing react myself.

1. Wrap third party components, so you can swap them easily if they become unstable or you find something better.2. If you have a codebase that predates create-react-app, take a look into its configuration, webpack is a complex beast and they've figured many optimizations.3. Learn the concept of High Order Components and use them to abstract common functionality (for example, retrieving data from an API)4. Even if you use Redux (I do and I love it), not everything belongs in there, use local state whenever it makes sense first.5. Never, ever, depend on anything inside `react/lib`

2
hoodoof 3 days ago 7 replies      
My lessons that I would add to this:

lessons 1:there's a good chance, depending on what you are doing, that you do not need Redux - avoid it if you can. much docunentation seems to imply that it is a necessary hand in hand element of react development - not true. I have never found any situation in which I need redux.

lesson 2:'use "create-react-app", and if humanly possible, don't eject from it.

3
kuon 3 days ago 6 replies      
About the "go without redux point", I've switched to MobX, and it helped me greatly for this, as I can implement proper state handling very quickly even when the project is in it's infancy. You just create a class, throw @observable in it and boom, you get everything without any boiler code.
4
JTenerife 3 days ago 5 replies      
Here are my 2 cents:

1. Don't use a boilerplate. Not even create-react-app. Learn webpack and npm and TS / Babel. It's not that hard.

2. If you havn't yet, take a second look at MobX. I got it once I realized that I can organize my state just as I love it with Redux (normalized and update strictly through actions). With MobX you don't need Reselect.

3. Even though the React community seems to favor ES6, at least give Typescript a serious try.

5
arbesfeld 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm glad that the author mentioned sagas - this is one of the most underrated parts of using Redux and it makes a huge difference in async code. To be able to define complex asynchronous tasks as a series of "take", "call", and "put" has significantly reduced the number of bugs in our async code.

Another point for Redux: it makes it much easier to understand bugs, both locally and remotely with a tool like our LogRocket (https://logrocket.com)

6
sergiotapia 3 days ago 9 replies      
I shudder at the complixity of Redux. Ooh~ nice, you dispatch an action to a reducer, ooh~. ~job security~

I don't know, it rubs me the wrong way when there are better tools out there. Mobx, is much quicker to integrate and is easier to understand how to integrate anywhere in a React app. Glad to see I'm not the only one who really doesn't like Redux.

I mean check it out, it has an incredibly small API, and even smaller if you use the right Webpack loaders.

 import { observable, observe, toJS } from 'mobx' export default class Store { @observable foo = [] }
Then in your components just set or read from `this.context.store.foo`. Every component using the same store will update it's reference to foo.

https://sergiotapia.me/using-mobx-and-react-to-build-an-inst...

7
blauditore 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of these points are basically principles of (object-oriented) software composition, just applied to react. Some examples:

- "Multiple simple components are better than one highly customisable one" -> Single responsibility principle [1]

- "When all you have is two weeks, keep it lean" -> "Make It Work, Make It Right, Make It Fast." [2]

- "embrace the toughest linting rules your team can stand." -> Not really a principle, but that's almost like simulating statically typed language with compile-time errors and warnings.

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

[2]: http://wiki.c2.com/?MakeItWorkMakeItRightMakeItFast

8
dx034 2 days ago 2 replies      
> My tip: test on lower spec machines

I wished ever developer would do that. Too many mobile apps or websites that do very simple stuff (displaying content, simple forms) don't work properly on older phones because of some sophisticated features that no one needs. Many developers seem to think that everyone uses the newest machines and flagship phones with high bandwidth, and forget about everyone else.

Unfortunately the fear of premature optimization is so big for some people that their users have to suffer just because the programmer wanted to have a nicer developer experience..

9
binocarlos 3 days ago 2 replies      
sagas are a steep learning curve and absolutely knowing what a generator function is essential before opening the docs. They are a very productive tool and worth the time imho.

They allow your redux containers to concentrate on selecting state and triggering actions and the async stuff stays out of the way in 'workers'.

Defo worth a look if your redux project has more than a few pages.

10
tzaman 3 days ago 1 reply      
> 4: Raw SVG >= D3 for simple data visualisations

You can have a bit of both. D3 has a dependency "d3-scale" [0], which is a perfect choice if you'd like D3 to do the math and React to take care of the DOM.

0: https://medium.com/@mbostock/introducing-d3-scale-61980c5154...

11
martijn_himself 2 days ago 3 replies      
Tangential question: does anyone have experience moving from full time (.NET) development to freelance React / JavaScript development and is willing to offer advice?

I'm currently employed as a senior .NET consultant and I am seriously considering changing stacks and trying contracting / remote work in order to have more freedom to travel and work from different geolocations amongst other things.

Should I take some time off to learn React? Do I have to position myself as a junior React developer?

12
bayonetz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find mockable end-to-end testing for React-based SPAs to be quite a mess. On the one hand, "React is a just a view library" so e2e testing is orthogonal. On the other hand, Redux/Flux + React pretty much get treated as the counterpart to traditional MVC and the infrastructure upon which you build your whole app on. But unlike Ember with it's QUnit e2e helpers or Protractor for Angular, there is nothing like that for e2e testing a "React [+ Redux/Flux]" app. Unit testing with TestItils/Enzyme/Jest definitely doesn't cut it. You can unit test all day but the isn't the same as integration and acceptance-type testing. We had to basically roll our own using WebDriver.IO and injecting a fetch-mock helper into our app to mock out the external API calls. That last part is key when you need to test your complex SPA without having to rely on backend API servers. Anbody else feel this pain?
13
zem 3 days ago 1 reply      
what i've found over the course of my career is that the most invaluable feature of boilerplate and scaffolding apps is to get a known-good build pipeline up and running. a trick i've often found useful when migrating to a new framework is to autogen a starter project and then start copying bits of my existing project into it and getting them working. when i'm done, i usually understand the new system well enough to go backport my changes to the existing project (if i want to preseve git history) or simply start afresh once all my tests are passing.

it is a sad commentary on the state of software development that the build process is the most complicated and headache-inducing part of exploring a new language or framework, but i've found that to be a constant across many languages and many years.

14
dahart 2 days ago 0 replies      
> My tip: embrace the toughest linting rules your team can stand.

How good is the Flow type checker, vs ESLint or the Google closure compiler?

While I don't disagree with anything the author said, most of the time I feel like ESLint is just a huge nag about white space. It's defaults have a bunch of rules that in my opinion enforce style without improving code safety at all, despite what the intro docs say. Someone I work with read some opinions like this one and got the idea that ESLint represents correct JS standards, and won't allow the white space rules to be relaxed. I'm stuck being forced to put a space after my comment characters, and not being able to line up blocks of repetitive code. It is admittedly nice to not have any white space style arguments. OTOH, I never really had white space arguments before, and the difference in both friendliness and code safety between using ESLint and the Google closure compiler is huge.

15
forgottenacc57 3 days ago 6 replies      
For all the people who use redux - a question - how is redux better (for your use case) than just a global variable?
16
swah 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone working on Windows? Is web pack still the way to go? How does it interact with something like phonegap? I have 3 similar projects and I'm super confused which stack should I pick...
17
holografix 2 days ago 1 reply      
Given the amount of React knowledge in the thread and the fact that I just finally groked Redux... what would you recommend to emulate something like ionic? MaterialUI + some sort of flexboxing?
18
chrislgrigg 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great advice, particularly the part about small, similar components instead of large, customizable ones. This is something I feel like I struggle with in views much more than I ever did working backend, and it's healthy to be reminded regularly.

On the subject of sagas, does anyone have a good solution for dealing with `call` in TypeScript without losing type safety?

19
drum 3 days ago 0 replies      
Other things I'd add after building a React project:

1. "Configuration over Convention" seems to be the mantra with build settings and organization of the entire application. This can make adding features slower if you're used to frameworks like Rails.

2. SEO will require additional effort via server side rendering

20
ferdbold 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Linting also helps catch errors like reassigning consts and speeling errors"

Hehe.

21
wishinghand 3 days ago 2 replies      
Now I don't know what to believe:https://imgur.com/gallery/jL62c
22
Sophistifunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't rely on lint to catch speeling errors. It doesn't work on imports. Flowtype or TSC (even without using any TypeScript syntax) are your friends.
23
griffinmichl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely agree with #1. If there's one way I've changed as a programmer as I've gotten more experienced, it's that I DGAF about repeating myself.
24
huskyr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent article! Lots of tips that are applicable to non-React projects as well (simple over customisable components for example).
25
swah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone working on Windows? Is web pack still the way to go? How does it interact with something like phonegap?
26
linkmotif 2 days ago 0 replies      
And it's only been a year! <3. Wild ride.
27
thght 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Happy 2016?
28
mstijak 3 days ago 3 replies      
I would recommend Cx to all React contractors. Cx runs on top of React and solves many React/Redux pain points. It also offers comprehensive widget library and charts.

http://cx.codaxy.com/

Disclaimer: I'm the author.

29
pmlnr 2 days ago 0 replies      
> January 2016, I changed my job title on LinkedIn to React developer

So whenever I start working on a new area, I should add that to my job title?

React Carpenter?

http://www.jasonbock.net/jb/News/Item/7c334037d1a9437d9fa650...

Also:

> 1: Multiple simple components are better than one highly customisable one

No shit. Ever heard of UNIX?

20
The Piston image library is now pure Rust piston.rs
261 points by tekacs  18 hours ago   106 comments top 10
1
ape4 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Image libraries are exactly where we need rust-style safe code.
2
LeanderK 8 hours ago 7 replies      
we are chasing more after trends than the fashion industry. The post contains no more info than that the image library is now pure rust.

I want to like rust and understand that there are benefits to it, but why is this on the frontpage? What important information does this post contain that justifies this, beside that some project now has their image library in pure-rust (does that even make sense? Not every rewrite is justified, replacing a rock-solid c-lib with a brand new rust-lib may not be a good idea)? I just loosely follow rust and i really don't see how i benefit from reading this.

I think we need to step back and realise that while there might be benefits to a certain technology, it's not a miracle drug.

3
krzat 14 hours ago 2 replies      
A bit offtopic, but when Rust will have incremental compilation? I just tested Piston's hello world and it takes 4 seconds to recompile. A bit too long for my taste.
4
nercury 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic news! This was the reason I kept using SDL2_image - I had too much trouble compiling Rust image crate on windows.
5
bsaul 14 hours ago 4 replies      
If only rust had concurrency / parallel programming primitives or library as nice as golang or elixir,i think i'll move to this language right away. For now i'm still holding my breath before developping with it on the server side.
6
perturbation 6 hours ago 1 reply      
A bit OT, but is there a C API that Piston exports? I.e., could I use Piston from C/C++ (or another language that supports the C ABI)?
7
phkahler 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Does it support higher bit-depth JPEG? Or just 8?
8
mrich 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Any benchmarks?
9
ftact 7 hours ago 3 replies      
10
lacampbell 6 hours ago 1 reply      
...and?

Is it faster? Is it shorter? Has it fixed bugs? Does it have more functionality? What reason does a user or potential user of this library have to care that it's now written in another language?

21
Dd is not a disk writing tool (2015) vidarholen.net
305 points by Ianvdl  16 hours ago   166 comments top 30
1
pixelbeat 15 hours ago 10 replies      
Yes "D" is not for disk/drive/device/...

It comes from the DD (data definition) statement of OS/360 JCL, and hence why dd has the unusual option syntax compared to other unix utils

BTW if you are using dd to write usb drives etc. it's useful to bypass the Linux VM as much as possible to avoid systems stalls, especially with slow devices.You can do that with O_DIRECT. Also dd recently got a progress option, so...

 dd bs=2M if=disk.img of=/dev/sda... status=progress iflag=direct oflag=direct
Note dd is a lower level tool, which is why there are some gotchas when using for higher level operations. I've noted a few at:

http://www.pixelbeat.org/docs/coreutils-gotchas.html#dd

2
voidz 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Most of the time it's much better (as in, faster) to just use cat (or pv, to get a nice progress bar) for writing a file to a block device, because it streams, and lets underlying heuristics worry about block sizes and whatnot.

So:

 cat foobar.img > /dev/sdi
will stream the file rather than what dd does, i.e. read block, write block, read block, write block and so on.

Usually I also lower the vm.dirty_bytes and vm.dirty_background_bytes to 16 resp. 48 MB (in bytes) beforehand, which limits the buffer sizes to those amounts. Else it will seem that the progress bar indicates 300MB/s is written, and when it completes you still have to wait a really long time for things to have been written out. Afterwards I restore back vm.dirty_ratio and vm.dirty_background_ratio to respectively 10 and 5 - the defaults on my system.

I wish that all of those projects, tutorials etc. that explain how to write their image to a block device, like an sdcard, would start advise using cat, because there is no reason to use dd, it's just something that people stick with because others do it too.

I only use dd for specific blocks, like writing back a backup of the mbr, or as a rudimentary hex editor.

3
realfinkployd 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Legend has it that the intended name, cc, was taken by the C compiler, so the letters were shifted by one to give dd."

Legend is wrong, this clearly derived from the mainframe JCL DD command. This is also why the syntax is so non unix-like.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_Control_Language#In-stream...

4
ComputerGuru 10 hours ago 4 replies      
I've seen people try to use dd to clone a bad disk before tossing it or attempting recovery - while dd is not the right tool for the job, ddrescue [0] is.

ddrescue gives you options for error handling and will skip past bad blocks, it handles read errors much more gracefully.

[0]: https://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/

5
II2II 12 hours ago 1 reply      
There are likely a number of reasons for using dd in tutorials designed for beginners:

- it is available by default on all Unix systems

- it distinguishes between input and output (i.e. if= and of=)

- it reports results

- it avoids using a common command for a dangerous operation that the user may not understand

dd also has another benefit: the ability to select a range of blocks to copy from and to. This isn't the most common scenario, but it certainly pops up on some devices.

6
ryao 10 hours ago 2 replies      
> This belief can make simple tasks complicated. How do you combine dd with gzip? How do you use pv if the source is raw device? How do you dd over ssh?

These operations are not that complicated. Behold the magic of UNIX pipes:

dd if=/dev/sdb | pv | gzip -c | ssh name@host "gzip -dc | dd of=/dev/sdc"

7
barhun 14 hours ago 4 replies      
+ "On UNIX, the adage goes, everything is a file."

- not all the things on unix are abstracted as files (or 'byte streams' to be more accurate). however, i/o resources and some ipc facilities are defined so. an operating system provides many other abstractions in addition to these such as processes, threads, non-stream devices, concurrency and synchronization primitives, etc.; thus it's absolutely wrong to say that everything is a file on unix.

8
notacoward 12 hours ago 2 replies      
More importantly: dd is not a benchmarking tool. I can't count how many times people have complained about dd being slow on a distributed filesystem. Well, yeah. When you're writing only one block at a time with no concurrency/parallelism at all, over a network interface that has much higher latency than your disk interface, of course it's slow. When you're using tiny block sizes, as about 80% of these people do, the effect is only magnified. Unless your use case for a distributed system is a single user who doesn't even multitask, use iozone or fio instead.
9
vermaden 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> How do you combine dd with gzip?

# dd < /dev/ada0 bs=8m | gzip -c -9 > /mnt/file.raw.gz

> How do you use pv if the source is raw device?

# dd < /dev/ada0 bs=8m | pv | dd > /dev/ada1 bs=8m

> How do you dd over ssh?

# dd < /dev/ada0 bs=8m | gzip -9 | pv | ssh user@host 'dd > /dev/da1 bs=8m'

> This belief can make simple tasks complicated.

As master Dennis Ritchie once said - "UNIX is very simple, it just needs a genius to understand its simplicity."

10
YeGoblynQueenne 2 hours ago 0 replies      
>> The reason why people started using it in the first place is that it does exactly what its told, no more and no less.

Oh yes indeed. And for this exact reason, "dd" is commonly backronymed to "Data Death" (or, indeed, "Disk Death").

11
peterburkimsher 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Can we have a single-purpose tool for getting the text between two delimiter strings?

I know it's possible with regex, but given how frequently that parsing logic is needed, and the difficulty of getting sed right, I think a "tb" tool would be very helpful.

12
voltagex_ 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're building disk images with blank space in them (say, for an 8GB EMMC, but your root is only 2GB) you may want to use bmap-tools [1] [2]

This way only actual data is written to the device, blocks of zeros can be skipped.

1: https://lwn.net/Articles/563355/2: https://github.com/01org/bmap-tools

13
daveguy 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It may not be a disk writing tool, but it works wonders for swapping from HDD to SDD without having windows freak out and decide you are stealing it.
14
rollthehard6 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I came from Solaris land originally and it always surprises me how seldom people use filesystem level utilities to copy such stuff, i.e. ufsdump | ufsrestore or dump | restore

Works a treat and using the fs level tool you know everything will be properly copied, much safer.

15
pmontra 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Indeed

 $ man dd NAME dd - convert and copy a file SYNOPSIS dd [OPERAND]... dd OPTION DESCRIPTION Copy a file, converting and formatting according to the operands. ...
More at http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/dd.1.html

See the part after "Each CONV symbol may be:"

16
bradknowles 6 hours ago 0 replies      
IIRC, there was a windowing system called "W", which pre-dated X. However, it was crude and there was good reason for wanting to replace it.
17
iamdave 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It also doesn't stand for 'destroy-disk' as was thought by a junior admin I employed once, and eventually had to fire because the level of incompetence was getting to the point of almost being destructive.

Nope, that's not hyperbole. I had to stop the kid from almost installing software that would have connected to a known botnet to help a user connect a personal computer to the VPN. He passed enough checks during the interview we figured "Okay, we can train him in the rest of the things"

Lesson learned.

18
ScottBurson 7 hours ago 1 reply      
My favorite thing to do with 'dd' is to break up multi-gigabyte log files into, say, 500MB chunks, so I can easily view and search them in XEmacs (this is 'csh' syntax as I use 'tcsh'):

 foreach i (0 1 2 3 [...]) dd <big.log >big.log.$i bs=500m count=1 skip=$i end
(XEmacs is very fast at reading large files but has a 1GB limit.)

19
erikb 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Reminds me of "find", which is another tool that is mostly just used for its most boring application.
20
mlaux 15 hours ago 1 reply      
> Its unique in its ability to issue seeks and reads of specific lengths, which enables a whole world of shell scripts that have no business being shell scripts. Want to simulate a lseek+execve? Use dd!

How would one simulate a call to execve with dd? Seems like a totally different problem domain.

21
Poiesis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In my experience dd is great for binary data. Yes, pretty much everything on Unix operates on files, as does dd. But so many utilities are either line based or don't handle null bytes, and it's a pain to have determine how a given program handles binary data when I know dd will at least not mess with it.
22
dockinator 12 hours ago 0 replies      
What? Yes dd absolutely is a disk writing tool, although that is not the only or even the tool's intended primary purpose.

It is useful for generating serial IO for a variety of purposes. For example, writing data with specific target block size; allocating contiguous blocks for use by an application (be it zeroing out a thin LUN before partitioning, or a file system); or simply dumping the content of one device to another (or to a file).

Good luck stretching out a thin LUN or creating an empty file that allocates contiguous space with cat.

23
tambourine_man 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, but you can't set block size to n bytes in cat.

Also, it's useful to have in the back of your mind that dd can very easily mean Disk Destroyer, specially because of it's sui generis syntax

24
skipt 4 hours ago 0 replies      
dd is for converting EBCDIC to ASCII and vice versa :)

 $ echo how now brown cow > text.ascii $ dd conv=ebcdic < text.ascii > text.ebcdic 0+1 records in 0+1 records out 18 bytes copied, 0.000261094 s, 68.9 kB/s $ od -xc text.ebcdic 0000000 9688 40a6 9695 40a6 9982 a696 4095 9683 210 226 246 @ 225 226 246 @ 202 231 226 246 225 @ 203 226 0000020 25a6 246 % 0000022 $ dd conv=ascii < text.ebcdic how now brown cow 0+1 records in 0+1 records out 18 bytes copied, 0.000140529 s, 128 kB/s

25
catwell 9 hours ago 0 replies      
One of those Unix tools that would deserve to be better known is dcfldd (http://dcfldd.sourceforge.net/). It is basically dd with extra powers including on-the-fly hashing, progression, multiple outputs...
26
acomjean 12 hours ago 1 reply      
So what is the best way to clone a disk(or in my case a raspberry pi sd cars)?

I tried to backup one of my cards last week using dd > .iso file and then tried to put it on a new card. I tried with /dev/Rdisk (faster) but none of the new cards was bootable.

So this is saying just use copy.

(I ended up just creating a second boot disk, and ftping the files over which seems less than ideal...)

27
jwr 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The best thing about dd is that you can use it with conv=noerror, which will let you recover as much data as possible from an otherwise damaged device.
28
mschuster91 15 hours ago 2 replies      
The unique advantage of dd over cat, cp and friends: you can specify the block size.

Just try (on OS X) dd if=disk.img of=/dev/disk1... first speedup is gained by using rdisk1, but the real improvement comes with the bs=1m. 2 vs 16 vs 300 MB/s on my machine, when cloning via USB-SATA adapter.

29
andrewshadura 9 hours ago 0 replies      
bmaptool is my image writing tool, and I think it should be yours too.
30
microcolonel 14 hours ago 2 replies      
This is not strictly true. For example, good luck trying to scp a device to a remote host.
22
Warzone 2100: A Free and Open Source Real-Time Strategy Game wz2100.net
269 points by BuuQu9hu  2 days ago   131 comments top 18
1
edem 2 days ago 7 replies      
I am still waiting for a strategy game which gets near to the Total Annihilation experience (the most satisfying strategy experience I had so far). I am waiting since 1997 (20 years)! What I would like to see is real use of terrain features, monumental maps and units which are well designed. Take a look at the Prophet from TA:Escalation: [0]. 2 naval cannons, 2 plasma batteries, 2 flak guns with built-in multitasking.

[0][https://images.discordapp.net/.eJwNxkEOgyAQAMC_cC-7wGYFP0MIE...]

2
robotjosh 2 days ago 5 replies      
I played a little bit years ago. I didn't like how the map was zoomed in so far, I wanted to zoom out more. I messed with the source code to let me zoom out more and shared how to do it. They told me I was cheating so I never played again.
3
throwaway7767 2 days ago 2 replies      
I played this game so much when it came out. Really great strategy game.

I tried playing through a campaign using the open-sourced engine a while ago but it felt like the pathfinding had taken several steps backwards since the original game. You really start to feel it in the later missions, where the pathfinding becomes the biggest hurdle - your units get stuck while retreating and so get destroyed before they manage to return to a repair station. Never did manage to finish it because of this.

Too bad, because in all other respects it's great. But the pathfinding makes it unplayable for me once a decent number of units are involved in fighting.

4
smnscu 2 days ago 10 replies      
Does anyone have a list of open source games such as this one? i.e. that are rewrites of older games

Popular-ish examples:

* https://freeablo.org/

* https://openmw.org/en/

5
simonmales 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't play games too often, but have enjoyed this in the past. As far as I could find, this was the only once commercial game that opened sourced it's engine AND data files.

Majority of previously commercial games do not open source the data files, e.g. FreeSpace and Quake.

apt-get install warzone2100

Done.

6
frik 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's sad that RTS (Real Time Strategy) games are more or less dead for more than a decade.

I still play 10-20 year old RTS games like Age of Empire series, Age of Mythology, Empire Earth, C&C Generals from time to time. Especially playing skirmish mode against hard AI on random maps is really great.

Several spun off genres like Tower Defence, MoBa sprung off as Mods from Age of Empires series and WarCraft 3. Since 2009 also the Facebook games like Farmville, et al and Free2Play casual games implemented kind of RTS mechanics.

On consoles various unsuccessful RTS games like C&C 4, Halo Wars 1 and some failed Free2Play efforts like C&C Generals 2 meant basically the end to Triple-A RTS games as we knew them. The RTS genre was the best selling Triple-A genre on PC, even stronger than shooter and RPG, back in the late 1990s after all.

Now that all old genres like adventures or RPG (except RTS) got a successful revival, it would be great to get new Triple-A RTS games for PC.

7
sliken 2 days ago 5 replies      
Not sure why this is posted. It's an old game, no particularly note worth releases in the last month.

It's definitely a fun RTS, one of my favorites, and opensource.

8
jon-wood 2 days ago 1 reply      
I owned a copy of this before it was open sourced and used to play some epic multiplayer games with a friend against the computer. The big difference this has to other RTS games is the heavy emphasis on artillery - by the late game you end up with artillery pieces which can rain down destruction across most of the map, and counter battery radar to destroy that.

The unit designer is also neat, allowing you to build custom units out of various bodies, propulsion methods, and weapon systems.

9
coldpizza 2 days ago 2 replies      
I remember playing this on the PS1

The coolest thing about this game is that you could directly play as any unit like it was a third-person action game

10
kriro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like a cool testbed for game AI. There's even a NullBot included from my quick research :)
11
godzillabrennus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reading this triggered my memories of playing Black Nova Traders as a teen. Just checked and seems like that project hasn't gotten much love in the years since I quit playing it.

It'd be fun to have a kickstarter campaign to fund raise for new versions of old open source games.

12
mamurphy 2 days ago 0 replies      
While we talk about free and open source reimplementations - is there anything similar to Sim Tower? I quite enjoyed that game, and haven't seen anything like it since.
13
flukus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has there been any significant graphical updates since release?
14
tlo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have also a look at http://osgameclones.com/
15
flashman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Personally I'm looking forward to Deadhold[1] which doesn't involve resource management, focusing instead on unit formations and tactics (a revival of Bungie's Myth series).

[1]http://www.deadhold.com

16
simonebrunozzi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a .dmg version? I couldn't find one.
17
georgeecollins 2 days ago 0 replies      
Warzone 2100 was a really good game.
18
neverminder 2 days ago 1 reply      
Honestly this being on the first page of HN I was expecting to see something comparable to 0AD (probably the best RTS open source game out there), but this game really does look like it belongs in the 90s.
23
The Riemann Hypothesis, explained medium.com
292 points by seycombi  1 day ago   60 comments top 20
1
tzs 1 day ago 2 replies      
There are some interesting statements that are equivalent to the Riemann Hypothesis. What "equivalent" means is that if the statement is true then RH must be true, and if RH is true then the statement must be true.

Here's one I find particularly nice.

Let s(n) = the sum of the divisors of n, for a positive integer n. For example s(12) = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 6 + 12 = 28.

Let H(n) = 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + ... + 1/n.

The RH is equivalent to the claim that for every integer n >= 1:

s(n) <= H(n) + exp(H(n)) log(H(n))

This is due to Jeffry C. Lagarias. Here's his paper showing the equivalence: https://arxiv.org/abs/math/0008177

2
vq 1 day ago 2 replies      
3Blue1Brown recently did a video on the Riemann zeta function: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD0NjbwqlYw

It's not as in depth but it has some helpful visualisations that I've never seen elsewhere.

3
williamstein 1 day ago 2 replies      
Shameless promotion: I published a book recently trying to explain RH, and my coauthor gave a great talk about it, which is here: http://wstein.org/rh
4
rfurmani 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great article!

One of the things about the Riemann Hypothesis is that the search space for a proof is more wide than it is deep. For each given idea or approach it doesn't take relatively long to get to the forefront of what is known, and an expert can often tell you right from the beginning that the whole class of approaches may not work due to some known phenomena, or that they would have to involve certain complications to not pick up on various almost-counterexamples. Furthermore, in these 150 years not only has the right path/approach not been found, but there isn't a truly compelling reason to believe that RH is true, aside from numerical evidence and a belief in beauty.

I think it'd be fascinating to put together an online resource to organize the possible approaches, list the knowledge prerequisites, show the potential counterexamples and stumbling blocks to each approach. This would help anyone interested in the problem, and once it is sufficiently developed it would allow non-specialists to contribute productively. This could be LaTeX on github, it could be more of a traditional wiki, but now I really want to get this going.

5
ot 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a great introduction to analytic number theory.

I was expecting the standard dumbed down piece with no mathematical insight and far-fetched analogies. Instead, the post is mathematically rigorous and deep, and yet it manages to be completely self-contained and clear. Amazing work.

6
hiq 1 day ago 2 replies      
[nitpicking]

This version of Euclid's proof does not look like the one on Wikipedia, which is not a proof by contradiction. The article[0] mentions that:

"Euclid is often erroneously reported to have proved this result by contradiction, beginning with the assumption that the finite set initially considered contains all prime numbers, or that it contains precisely the n smallest primes, rather than any arbitrary finite set of primes."

[/nitpicking]

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclid's_theorem#Euclid.27s_pr...

7
jordigh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hm, except for using Gamma(n) = (n-1)! instead of Pi(n) = n!, this presentation seems to follow the notation of this book:

https://books.google.ca/books/about/Riemann_s_Zeta_Function....

This is most obvious in the naming of the J function near the bottom, which I have not seen anywhere else. Riemann originally called that function a generic f.

At any rate, Edwards' book is great because it develops the theory from a historical viewpoint. It begins with a very well-annotated exposition of Riemann's original paper and the rest of the book goes on to explain other mathematicians' successive results in filling in all of the gaps that Riemann left in his paper. I recommend this book to any serious student of zeta.

8
seycombi 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those who did not read it or missed it, at the end of the article there is a link to Jrgen Veisdal's 2013 undergraduate thesis paper.

http://www.jorgenveisdal.com/files/jorgenveisdal-thesis13.pd...

9
bloodred92 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty awful at math and I found this explanation to be wonderful despite many parts of it going over my head. My brain naturally despises numbers (dyslexia)but your textual descriptions of formulas seemed to help me bridge the gap better than most texts.
10
mrcactu5 1 day ago 0 replies      
here is a more technical discussion by Paul Bourgade @ NYU. I still re-read it from time to time for orientation.

Quantum chaos, random matrix theory, and the Riemann function

http://www.cims.nyu.edu/~bourgade/papers/PoincareSeminar.pdf

11
throwaway7645 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went to a talk on the Reimann hypothesis with a physicist friend. The chair of our math department gave the talk. At one point he stated "Do you know why the Reimann hypothesis is important?, it's because it's the Reimann hypothesis". Suffice to say the entire lecture was waaaay over our heads.
12
Bahamut 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the curious, much of this is covered in depth in a graduate analytic number theory first course.

As fascinating as the Riemann Zeta Hypothesis is, I think something almost as fascinating is the works of Ramanujan - to this day, the genius Indian's work is studied in earnest, and amongst the most famous number theory work to this day.

13
jonaf 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article is about math.

In my ignorance, I mistook the article to be about the monitoring project[1] -- I expected some kind of proof/theorem behind the monitoring project.

This article is not about the monitoring project.

[1]: http://riemann.io/

14
ifoundthetao 1 day ago 0 replies      
For a nice historical background on this, you can read "Prime Obsession", which is a pretty fascinating read.
15
jonbaer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great post, I have been reading https://www.amazon.com/Riemann-Hypothesis-Greatest-Unsolved-... for over 10 years now ;-)
16
ianai 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really appreciated the depth here.
17
tzs 1 day ago 2 replies      
> The gamma function (z) is defined for all complex values of z larger than zero

What does "larger than zero" mean for complex numbers?

18
Dzugaru 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The real valued zeta function is given for r and n, two real numbers

followed by a function of one real variable with an infinite sum of expressions containing integer r.

Sorry, but little things like these completely put me off in math articles.

19
tokenadult 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like his wording of Euclid's classic proof of the infinity of prime numbers. That's good exposition to start off the article.
20
ianamartin 1 day ago 2 replies      
META

Why are people still posting things on Medium?

It's a platform that the founder knows has absolutely no clue about how to sustain it. After 5 years, and over hundred million dollars of investments.

end meta

This is a good post, and it should be put somewhere that will keep it.

That said, "RH" stuff now:

Fuck Riemann. An entire school of music theory that has almost nothing to do with him is named after him. It's a ginormoulsy idiotic way to understand music.

The people who think of him as a great thinker as it applies to music are completely out of their minds.

/trolling, sort of. a little.

24
TV anchor says live on-air Alexa, order me a dollhouse theregister.co.uk
253 points by danielharan  1 day ago   228 comments top 37
1
smoyer 1 day ago 8 replies      
"Telly station CW-6 said the blunder ..."

I don't think it's a blunder to say (almost) any sentence ... we do still have freedom of speech. To think that these viewers would expect that no one ever utters the phrase again is ridiculous. Next they' expect there to be legislation prohibiting certain words on any broadcast. An as more voice controlled devices are created, there are bound to be conflicts.

If they'd written this article correctly, they'd have an auto-playing audio clip that says "Alexa, order me a sandwich". A child named "Ok Google" will be the next version of "Little Bobby Tables".

2
wonko1 1 day ago 16 replies      
I don't really get the appeal of voice prompted ordering. Is there really a big enough market of people for whom this is more than a novelty?

For many products, you want to do at least some research before ordering. For products you order regularly, reordering is usually only a couple of clicks/taps.

3
c3534l 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why people are blaming the news report for this instead of Alexa.
4
kimburgess 1 day ago 3 replies      
Toyota ran and ad campaign in Sweden in 2015 that targeted Siri: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqZBVTMrgFA.

In their current state, voice assistants appear to be wide open for abuse. You think auto-play ads on sites are bad now? Wait until they start auto-ordering for you too.

5
Tharkun 1 day ago 2 replies      
If your device is stupid enough to order things when some random person on TV tells it to, then your device probably shouldn't be in people's homes.
6
jasonkostempski 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been waiting for this for years :) I figured it would be some shock jock saying, "Ok Google, show me pictures of child porn" over the radio, causing people to panic while driving and that would be the end of stupid, always-on, voice commands.
7
dplgk 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the HN crowd, I'm surprised most comments here focus on ordering things via voice. There's a much more disturbing lesson here and it's not far fetched at all compared to most doomsday theories. Right now, Alexa et Al can control your home, I'm sure it's one step away from summoning your Tesla. What comes after that? Then all you need is an IoT exploit deployed and an implanted Alexa time bomb that's triggered by a commonly uttered phrase. Without the exploit, you could probably get pretty far with a mass broadcast, "Alexa, have Tesla drive to Times Square"
8
jayjay71 1 day ago 2 replies      
30 Rock has a great scene making fun of this very scenario. It doesn't seem to be readily available online, although it's on the episode Qu Sorpresa! for those interested. Then Forbes wrote an article explaining why this can never happen.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/briancaulfield/2012/01/12/hed-wh...

Edit: It is worth mentioning that Alexa being outside the TV does make a difference, as it's unlikely to have a directional microphone as would likely be installed in the TV.

9
unpythonic 1 day ago 3 replies      
Given that everything must go through shipping & handling which is typically measured in days, what is the benefit to ordering immediately? Surely these services could batch your requests through the day and push a confirmation request to the buyer(s).

The risk of unintentional purchases seems much too high, and one doesn't lose much convenience with a quick confirmation.

10
jcoffland 1 day ago 3 replies      
This could be mostly solved by allowing people to rename their digital assistants.
11
tombrossman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Serious question, what's preventing someone from exploiting this for profit?

For example, could you list a uniquely named item on Amazon (perhaps as a Marketplace seller) and charge high restocking fees? Then instead of just trolling people for a laugh, your business model would basically be collecting restocking fees.

12
tetraodonpuffer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Couldn't the assistants (google, alexa, siri) be improved to do voice fingerprinting for specific commands (like purchases, unlock the front door, ...) where only certain voices are allowed to execute them?
13
alxndr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Amazon is currently running a TV ad which has three people saying "Alexa..." commands; I wonder why that ad isn't also causing false positives?
14
icameron 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do Alexa TV commercials wake up Alexa? Like the one that has "Alexa, call me an ber"?
15
awqrre 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Alexa, order me a new tin foil hat"...

by the way, how does Alexa knows that you said Alexa without sending anything to the cloud if it needs the cloud to decode any speech?

16
StavrosK 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ah, censorship by robot, where we have to watch what we say in public for fear of triggering people's assistants.
17
JoeAltmaier 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Confused. Alexa doesn't order anything unless you do it manually. It just creates a shopping list. So somebody say "Alexa, order me a dollhouse" and the viewers' shopping lists got something scribbled on them. Nobody bought anything.
18
khrm 1 day ago 0 replies      
This blunder seems to be mild in comparison to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5p0gqCIEa8
19
imsofuture 1 day ago 0 replies      
"ill-conceived TV spot"

Not sure that was the ill-conceived bit.

20
glitch003 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if it's possible to create a TV commercial that says "Alexa, order me a dollhouse" but not trigger the Amazon Echo in the room, by doing something like playing ultrasound static at a louder volume than the "Alexa, order me..." which would overload the Alexa microphone but would be too high of a frequency for your ear to hear.
21
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always chuckle at these, and yes voice independent recognition is always going to have this challenge. I tried a half dozen different "activation" phrases for my Moto-X and they all triggered at odd times by non-activation things (like the movies).

The really useful next step will be voice independent language recognition with voice dependent command recognition. That and accent independent language recognition. That is one of the, if not the, next billion dollar acquisition by one of the big players.

22
tzs 1 day ago 3 replies      
These devices should be using multiple microphones so that they can tell where sounds are coming from, and during setup they should be shown the location of the TV and exclude any commands coming from there.
23
nkkollaw 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or the subheading is "Story on accidental order begets story on accidental order begets accidental order"?
24
mrob 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a technical problem and can be solved by technical improvements. The listening device needs enough microphones to locate the exact position of the sound source. If it never moves then it's not a human and it should be ignored.
25
orblivion 1 day ago 0 replies      
So this is the new taboo? We have to watch what we say on tv and radio because a lot of people decide to buy this product?
26
mikerg87 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is so 2014. I remember when when Xbox users with Kinect had this happen.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27827545

27
crooked-v 1 day ago 0 replies      
This makes me wonder how long until some musician or band does a Superbowl ad with "Alexa/Siri/Cortana, play _____", followed by silence.
28
mherdeg 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder whether fewer people in the US will be naming their children "Alexa" or "Siri" in the coming years.
29
dlss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like someone needs to either (a) get a patch out, or (b) pass a law before alexa-aware advertisements become a thing.
30
746F7475 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can't wait when commercials just go: "Alexa, buy <whatever we are selling>".
31
dkarapetyan 1 day ago 0 replies      
And now we enter the era of cybernetic capitalism and runaway purchasing loops.
32
JabavuAdams 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did any orders actually happen, or is this a fake outrage story?
33
sogen 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminded me of the Halloween III tv commercial...
34
cooper12 1 day ago 3 replies      
If I remember correctly, doesn't Apple's Siri get trained to your voice so other people don't activate it? It only seems appropriate for Amazon to make sure only specific voices are associated with purchasing rights or else kids will just be ordering anything. There really should have been some sort of authentication method for sensitive things like this.
35
phaed 1 day ago 0 replies      
Viral purchasing?
36
peterwwillis 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a time to be alive.
37
kahrkunne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like a critical flaw in voice-control. Imagine a prankster driving through town with speakers blasting "Alexa, order me 20 dollhouses".
25
Indiegogo to launch campaigns combining perks and equity investment techcrunch.com
206 points by artsandsci  2 days ago   75 comments top 14
1
koololdkool 2 days ago 6 replies      
This is the future of startup funding. Money isn't the big problem with VCs, it's the lack of vision and old boys network mentality.

Real people with small amounts of money can easily fund all of the great ideas in the world. Even big ones I think, like cancer research. If properly controlled (diversified, limited) it really could be the best way for people to invest maybe 10% of their savings.

We just need a lot more work done in this area until it's safe and simple for people and companies. This will be one of the many things that cause technology to accelerate even more in the future.

2
JumpCrisscross 2 days ago 1 reply      
Before the Securities Act of 1933, a common scheme involved pitching a pie-in-the-sky idea (e.g. a magic CGI smartwatch [1]), paying your self and cronies an absurd salary for a few years, and then calling it quits before rolling again.

No doubt, this still happens. But grandma was quarantined.

[1] http://observer.com/2014/08/indiegogos-scampaign-problem-lat...

3
tyre 2 days ago 7 replies      
Raising money from random people on the internet sounds like a nightmare.

Every investor you take on is there for life and has a unique set of goals. The advice they give you is bent towards those goals, be it creating the best product, exiting in six months, IPOing in 10 years, or making a large social impact. I can only imagine the all-caps emails from first-time investors demanding the company go in one direction.

Investor relations can be a time sink to manage for an early stage company, especially if you have inexperienced investors who only read about the good times on TechCrunch.

4
joeblau 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems to me that in recent history; Every time the masses get easy access into something that historically had a high barrier to entry -- You get a huge boom and a huge crash.

Back in late 90's when everyone was starting a company with no product at all. Back in the mid 2000's when people were buying houses with no income verification.

If there is anything that is going to lead to the next bubble, this might be it.

5
EekSnakePond 2 days ago 1 reply      
Step 1.) Raise an IndieGoGo campaign to invent some impossible thing that makes Silicon Valley middle class super excited to throw money at, offer a return. (Some fundivist nonsense)

Step 2.) Raise another IndieGoGo campaign that just promises a lesser return.

Step 3.) Raise one more IndieGoGo campaign that just promises an ever lesser returns than that.

Step 4.) Make perks payout schedules and trickle enough money out to the original raise to the few top perks of the other raises.

Now have now hypothecated a $10,000 raise to a $10,000,000 position. Wrap up the entire position in a derivate. Wrap that up in another derivative. Wrap that in a derivative. Then allocate the rest of your raise to meta counter positions that arise from those positions.

Slowly release cheap updates for the original raise and slowly lose community confidence. Trigger the derivative condition cascade. Make stupid money.

You're welcome.

6
caleblloyd 2 days ago 2 replies      
> if Indiegogo will even be able to get this past the SEC

It is already legal, the SEC passed Regulation A+ in 2015. Companies must be approved by the SEC for Regulation A+ and then they can sell their offering to unaccredited investors. There is limitations in number of investors and the dollar amount of investments.

I work for Issuer Direct and we help companies apply for Reg A+ and get funded.

7
mrleiter 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very interesting move. But companies deciding to take equity funding from a variety of investors without proper knowledge of finance (and the market for the product) can be dangerous for both companies and crowd-investors. On the one hand companies must not forget that the investors own part of their company, which entails lots of legal issues (think of shareholder meetings, etc...). On the other hand this probably makes it unattractive for institutional investors who know the difficulties of handling scattered equity.
8
Animats 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why would anyone "invest" in a startup without voting rights and antidilution protection?
9
lordnacho 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was thinking this model must exist already:

- Have your bog standard crowdfunding site: bunch of projects with pics, descriptions, videos. Pretty much anything goes.

- With enough interest, appoint a due diligence person. So say some guy gathers enough money for his moonshot. Site appoints someone with real credentials (worked in space industry, auditing, etc)

- Due dilly guy gets paid for report.

- Investors decide if they want to play.

- Weakness: who does due dilly on the due dillies? I guess you need a sizeable network.

10
shmerl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I guess they follow Fig?
11
anigbrowl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really happy about this if it goes OK with the SEC etc. This would be great for small film producers who would like to attract a realistic amount of equity to realize and market a project properly, while still being able to get the microfinancing rolling with more tangible things like high quality hard copies of the film, swag etc.
12
gravypod 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is going to open up a wonderful can of worms that will hopefully ask some interesting questions about the future of trading and investment from the average person.

This will be really cool to see. Now don't get me wrong, I'm nearly 100% sure anything like this is going to end horribly but it's good to be optimistic, right?

13
Namrog84 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really excited about the potential prospects of this. There are a lot of things that'd need to be worked out a nd a lot of decisions to be made but I think this has a ton of potential for all people. Creators and micro investors alike
14
elastic_church 2 days ago 0 replies      
> and if Indiegogo will even be able to get this past the SEC

If the President gets his SEC Commissioner confirmations, everything should be able to get past the SEC if it simply promotes transactions between people.

26
Online databases dropping like flies, with 10,000 falling to ransomware arstechnica.co.uk
233 points by SQL2219  1 day ago   145 comments top 11
1
Will_Do 1 day ago 4 replies      
I feel like this is a new golden age in being a blackhat. Back 5-10 years ago there was no IOT and all databases were password protected by default. Now we have:

1. IoT with basically no security

2. No(Auth)SQL.

Also, dev time has become so expensive, the InfoSec teams in the companies I've worked at have had shockingly low head counts for all the responsibilities they have.

2
iask 1 day ago 1 reply      
A couple of things:

Person develops 2 or 3 apps, setup 2 or 3 databases and thinks he/she is a professional.

Many businesses and managers care less about security and more about getting the deliverables into production.

Many CEOs and managers lack the understanding that once you launch (app, store, website etc) it doesn't end there, instead, moves into maintenance.

My company just hired an external company to assist with our IT infrastructure. I was asked to meet with the person that showed up to begin the take over. He was not interested at all in understanding what we do as a business. If you don't understand your clients, their interests, their responsibilities and obligations then, simply put, they are fucked!

3
kahnpro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know a company that got hit by this. Through some mistake in configuration, they exposed their mongodb. What I understand is that the ransom request is a total scam, they didn't download or encrypt any data, just ran the drop command and inserted the ransom message.

But they didn't hit the oplog/journal, fortunately the full history (a few months of data) was still in the journal, so they were able to replay it (minus the drop commands) and restored their data.

Certainly scared a lot of people and (hopefully) taught a lesson about double-checking what's exposed to the internet.

4
tkyjonathan 1 day ago 5 replies      
Absolutely ridiculous that MongoDB is this insecure by default.
5
sakabaro 1 day ago 0 replies      
> People who administer websites that use MongoDB should ensure they're avoiding common pitfalls by, among other things, blocking access to port 27017 or binding local IP addresses to limit access to servers.

Misconfigured mongodb servers are the issue here, not firewall. Default mongodb shouldn't listen blindly to any connections though.

6
kazinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
No excuse for not backing up an online db at least daily.

An irrecoverable disk crash could hold your db ransom for $Inf.

7
kennysmoothx 1 day ago 6 replies      
Does anyone know of a "security checklist" one could follow for mongodb?

I have not used mongodb in any production environment but it would be nice to know what one should do to make it secure.

8
tzmudzin 1 day ago 6 replies      
The interesting part is the relatively low ransom amount.

I understand it needs to be low enough to make payment an "attractive" option (at least compared to other means of recovery, if any...). But 200 USD is significantly less than the 500 USD ransom extorted from private PC users.

Should we conclude the extortionists expect the database content to be worth less to a company owning it than a private person is willing to pay for his/her pictures, music files and documents?

9
andybak 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Several people below mention the ransomware aspect of this is a scam and no data is ever returned.

This is ironically a good thing as it poisons the well for 'legitimate' ransomware. The less people expect paying up to restore their data, the less people will pay up and the less viable ransomware is as a business model.

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cm2187 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I am not familiar with MangoDB but if 10,000 MangoDB are "misconfigured" then perhaps the defaults are to blame, not the users.
11
spullara 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Blackhat hackers attained product-market fit in 2015.
27
Ask HN: What did you do after quitting the IT industry and how have things been?
273 points by winteriscoming  2 days ago   194 comments top 42
1
kickscondor 2 days ago 2 replies      
I guess I should answer this one. I quit computer programming to teach public elementary school during the summer of 2015. I had been planning my exit for five to maybe ten years ago. The pay is nowhere near what one can make as a programmer - but I didn't really need all that money anyway. I teach a technology class - every kid in the school takes it for an hour - some of it involves programming, some of it is letting the kids explore tools like Twine, some of it is programming my own apps for the class.

For me - I can't see myself going back to an office. To teach kids is such an antidote to the self-loathing and looming pointlessness that I felt as a programmer. I'm not saying those feelings apply to any of you or to the profession as a whole - I just needed people in my life. And I guess I was tired of feeling like other people were using me for their projects - I want to use me for my projects.

I'm still in a bit of transition - do I continue experimenting in the classroom and attempt to release the apps I develop there? Or do I stay focused on teaching and improving my community? I think I'm set on the latter - I'm happier when I'm not chasing some impossible dream. But who knows - one still has ambitions that are impossible to repress anyway. Either way - it's great to have this kind of choice.

2
voidz 2 days ago 2 replies      
I became a full time father and results have been stellar. My boy is now one year old and turns out to be very clever... And very strong. He could crawl at seven months and started to learn how to walk at 11 months. His first word was 'hunger' (in Dutch, it sounds virtually the same) at two months, maybe it was imaginative but he was happy to eat after we we heard him say it, haha. Now he can also say 'mama' and 'papa', but it appears that he is deferring the rest of his vocal development until later because he can manage fine by using the Dutch equivalent words for 'that' ('die', sounds like 'thee') and 'food' ('eten', sounds like 'aitan').

His mother is happy that she can focus on her career while leaving him in my care at home, although it's harder than she imagined because she does miss us dearly while away from home and is counting the hours at work... probably because we're two very cool froods (wink). After the infamous initial "post-natal bumpy ride" our relationship is back where it used to be - at 100%.

I'm the happiest man ever and wouldn't want it any other way.

3
cerrelio 2 days ago 3 replies      
I took two breaks from tech. One was for grad school, which I dropped out of after 3 semesters. Like some others in the thread I found academia to be pretty bad. You're paid shit and treated like a peon. The work was actually interesting, but I knew I could just go back to private industry and make 5-10x as much doing the same type of work.

I took a break from "everything" at one point and became a nightlife photographer in a large urban area. It didn't pay much. It mostly involved drinking and doing drugs, on someone else's dime, until the early morning. It was a great time for the most part, and I met lots of interesting people. After about 6 months I got tired of it and went back to tech. Note: having a professional camera in a club is a great way to meet women.

I'm considering leaving tech again, or at least ending my engineering career. I no longer find it personally enjoyable to build systems. Building systems that other people want, instead of ones I'd want to build, has jaded me. I've worked at several companies, large and small, over the years. And I've found that as a tech shop matures, that exciting feeling of creating a product dulls. It dulls to the point of becoming anesthetic. The longer you stay, the worse it becomes. I wouldn't mind staying in the tech field. I just don't want to spend all day in front of a monitor anymore.

4
grecy 2 days ago 5 replies      
I quit my Software Engineering job and am now spending two years driving my Jeep around Africa.

I'm working while on the road, writing for magazines, selling photos and filming a YouTube series.

I am having the time of my life, and am extremely happy I made the decision I did. IMHO, sitting at a desk is just not worth it. Life is too short. I'm meeting a ton of people who agree, and are living the kind of life people spend their lives dreaming about.

If you're interested in my trip:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/theroadchoseme

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theroadchoseme

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dangrec

YouTube http://youtube.com/c/theroadchoseme

And my website: http://theroadchoseme.com

5
iamdave 2 days ago 3 replies      
I quit and will be starting my first of a two year pre-law program in two weeks. I'm quitting for a reason I haven't seen represented in the thread: "It's not even what I wanted to do as a career when I finished college" I only ended up in IT when my first job at a law firm as a file clerk nearly ended due to workforce reductions at a mid-sized law firm-an attorney I had helped in a big way solve a rather mundane word processor problem vouched that the company should keep me on and assign me to the help desk.

I found that I was very good at the work, thirteen years later I woke up one day really wanting to actually use my humanities degree (PoliSci and Public Policy) and that my joy of doing computers for other people was gone, and I didn't have the patience to keep up with where tech was going to stay competitive.

That, and the current state of affairs for people in my social group (African-Americans) compelled me to go back and do what I wanted to in college: fight for better laws and fair access to public resources.

nb4 "The legal profession isn't what it used to be, you [probably] wont become some rich attorney" to which I say "Good. Because that's not what I want to be. I don't want to be rich, I want to be good at what I do and give my kids something to be proud of come career day that isn't "he fixes computers at the local call center".

tl;dr - I have a humanities degree and I got tired of not using it for almost fifteen years.

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lylo 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's a shame we won't hear from the people who left and never came back to IT. They're likely no longer here to answer your question! Nevertheless, it's interesting hearing people's stories.

At 25 (4 years as an engineer, games, DTP) I felt pretty burned out so I took a year out to travel the world. I saw incredible places, had new experiences, met people from a wide variety of backgrounds who I'd never have encountered in a provincial 9-5 office job. It was amazing. When I returned I moved to a new city and got back into tech, my passion for which had been reignited during my time out. I hadn't missed it, but I was keen to get into a new job in a new tech area and learn new things.

Burn out it a common problem in tech. If it were possible/affordable, taking a six month sabbatical to do something entirely different travel, charity work, teaching, writing, whatever! might be the best thing anyone could do to keep their passion and enthusiasm for tech burning. Maybe it's something you do every 4/5 years.

If you're good at your job, valued by your employer and have saved a bit of money, it might even be easier than you think...

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davimack 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well, personally, I tried to escape by going and getting a Master's and a PhD. Unfortunately for me, I didn't bother to really LOOK at academia as a career path, so when I finished and started looking into it ... well, it's pretty crap, being an academic, no matter which country you're considering. Also, academia only considers the work you've done post-PhD as being of any worth, so I'd be competing with kids who'd gone straight through, rather than those who'd spent 20 years in industry first.

I've considered a wide variety of things, but always come back to this: if I keep on saving at my current rate, I can not have to make any profit whatsoever, whereas if I start out now with something (a bakery, say), then I'll need to keep on making a profit, so that I can retire some day. I've got another 10-15 years in software and then I'm done and can do whatever. Check out http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-sim... to figure out where you land on that scale.

8
potterboy67 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would think long and hard about leaving an industry you're established into, before doing it. I left in 2008 because, after two mergers, I had run out of steam and felt I wasn't wanted. I lost money because the crash caused the options I had to be worth less than I had hoped, but I attempted to make a living making wood-fired pots. I'd been making pots for ages, but they weren't good enough, and I didn't know how to build a business. I've been fortunate to have had a friend who employed me twice, but I now find myself living on dwindling savings but nine years out of date.

I would suggest that if you are running out of passion, then find an unrelated but expensive hobby, or find something related to IT that you can get passionate about.

And if you're certain you want to leave, start planning now.

9
reverend_gonzo 2 days ago 1 reply      
The first time I quit, I was 23. Took everything I had and went to travel across the world. When I ran out of money, I cam back and did some odd jobs, ran a small ebay business, and played poker, while trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Eventually, that stopped being realistic, so I moved to a bigger city and got a job.

After about two years of that, got fed up, and quit again, and went to grad school to get a PhD. After two years of that, I realized I was working 2-3 times as much for about a tenth of the pay I could be getting. I finished my masters, bailed from the PhD, and got a job back in tech.

My plan now is to use this time to make as much and learn as much as possible, and eventually pivot into something else at some point in the future, while always having the ability to fall back into tech if need be.

10
kylecrum 2 days ago 1 reply      
I quit my career for 4.5 years while I did other things that I wanted to do like teaching, writing, and traveling. It was definitely worthwhile and I'm grateful I was able to do it, but the same things that I disliked about my experience in the IT industry end up showing up in other jobs and things I did. I came back to IT with a different perspective and I got a lot better at making my job what I want it to be.

If you're going to quit, I think it's better to have clear goals and ideas of what you are going to do next and why you want do to those things. The act of quitting will give you immediate satisfaction, but long-term finding that thing that gets you up every single morning is more rewarding.

11
sdfjkl 2 days ago 4 replies      
After about 20 years of computer stuff, I've found a new interest - sailing. I spent most of the money gained from computer stuff on a boat, learnt how to repair it and sail it (repairing being the far more extensive subject), and am about to set off for a long trip. While doing this I've been using my newly gained skills and combined with my existing skills (computers, networks, electronics) did some work in the marine sector (mostly for the odd dinner, some of it paid) - turns out boats are full of special purpose computers and most of the "specialists" fixing them are uhm, not the best. My skills found quick appreciation. Might continue down that road once I run out of money.

I guess my advice is to do a bunch of things and see what you enjoy, new opportunities will happen as you do. Having an IT background is helpful almost anywhere, and more valued outside of core IT areas.

12
wyclif 1 day ago 0 replies      
I quit during the first dot-com bomb. I was a UNIX sysadmin for a large company. I had been interested in geodesy and GPS/GIS for a long time, so I became a land surveyor and GPS/GIS technician. I also did a lot of hydrography and even LiDAR work.

In 2008, when the subprime mortgage crisis hit, everyone thought that the crash would only affect residential real estate, but that turned out to be falseit also took commercial property down, since nobody was buying and selling. The civil engineering firm I worked for laid off all 12 staff surveyors, including me, on the same day. We all ended up down the road at a pub, and the senior surveyors were buying the drinks and we reminisced for a while. But that was effectively the end of two-man survey crews and traditional total station/transit instrument tech. Now it's all robotics and scanning which means one man operations.

I then travelled for a while. I went to Israel and a few other countries in the Middle East, met a new girlfriend there, and got married. Before getting married, I decided to go back into technology and become a web developer and slowly move back into DevOps. Unlike some of the people in this thread, I enjoy working in tech a lot more now than I did when I started. I find that working conditions (remote, &c) and pay have improved a lot, and public understanding of what developers do has increased dramatically.

13
daxfohl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I taught English in Korea for a year. I absolutely hated it. I was teaching mostly elementary-school. I never got the hang of creating order in the classroom or keeping kids interested. Every second was just torture.

In retrospect though I'm glad to have done it. Glad I stuck through the contract, though sometimes I wonder if it'd have been better for the kids if I had bailed and let someone more qualified come in my place.

The one nice thing about it is when you're done for the day, you're done. (At least if you're not a very good teacher). With software you're always thinking about it even if you're not actively working on it (or at least I am), it just invades your whole life. So it was great having nights and weekends completely free to do whatever you want.

The one adult class I had was fun. But you've got to get lucky to get a position teaching only adult classes, and the hours can be worse.

All that said, I'm back in software now.

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thaumaturgy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I bailed out of the industry during the dot-com crash -- actually, almost exactly the night before! -- and eventually became a climbing instructor and indoor climbing center manager.

I ended up in debt but to this day it's still the best job I ever had and despite all the work I've had to put into getting my life back on track financially, I'm still glad I did it.

I came back to IT about 10 years ago, but now I have a whole pile of non-IT skills and interests that I can dive into whenever I need a break, so burnout is much less of a problem overall. Working as a climbing instructor and gym manager also helped me learn how to talk to people and have a little bit of fun now and again.

15
ITLife 2 days ago 0 replies      
Left the industry after 15 years, bought a garden store with existing customers and an online site. The freedom and family time was nice but burned through my savings and sold one of my paid off cars to pay the mortgage. Had a second child and needed to get back into the industry after 3 years. Sold the store, broke even, and went back to the 9-5.

This time the exit is being more thoughtfully executed. While making a good salary, I am slowly buying rental properties. Up to 3 so far. Fingers crossed that the second time is a charm.

Many in the industry say an IT job comes with golden handcuffs. Most other professions don't pay as good. IT workers often times make what management from other departments make.

16
silencio 2 days ago 1 reply      
Bought a restaurant with family in hopes of staving off then-impending tech burnout - nothing fancy, so it's been a fun and mildly profitable side project. Was just about to hop on the med school path but I got pregnant at the worst time. Thinking I'll take a year to parent and maybe do some contracting while thinking about what to do for the future. Tech definitely pays well but I lost much of my interest in the past few years, so it's a bit of a dilemma. I am partially waiting it out and doing other things in hopes that taking a break will make me feel better about going back.
17
oldmancoyote 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't, and I should have.

I have been programming for 49 years. I lost my government job in an agency downsizing, worked for a university for 3 years until I could buy into a small pension with health insurance. I bought a house in Mazatlan, Mexico for the winters and am a camp host for the Forest Service during the summers. I'm still hacking.

I didn't have the balls to leave the profession even though I wanted to. Now, I'm comfortable, but I regret not having done something adventurous and feel too old for an adventurous life now.

18
delgaudm 2 days ago 4 replies      
Quit development, became a voice actor. A lot like a freelance developer or designer is a hustle, but damn do I love being behind a mic. If you need a voice for your explainer I'm still pretty comfortable with tech lingo terms, although I could not tell you what a tensor is!
19
rojobuffalo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I quit in Summer 2015 after working 5 years as a front-end engineer. I did a ton of camping and reading first. Then I worked on some farms in the Pacific Northwest for a few months. After that I moved into my family's second-home in Utah and started a part-time job as a cook at a farm-to-table restaurant.

I started a company with the mission of improving food systems. So I'm working on my second prototype app for this area. It's definitely a struggle to not have a salary and not be around a company of talented people every day, but I'm still enjoying it. I don't love writing software, but I just feel like what I'm working on needs to exist--so that's what I do now.

20
atilev 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure it it completely applies but here it is anyway. I wasn't working software development but as a evangelist at my last job and as a software engineer before that. 1.5 years ago I decided I wanted to change career paths and get into energy and renewables. I had two options in front of me, either go back to school or jump head on in. I quit my job at MSFT and moved to Rwanda, to join a small off grid solar energy company. I woke up everyday driving out to rural health centers and building things that actually changed peoples lives. I had to pinch myself almost monthly to let alone believe this was a job and I was getting paid to do it. In the end I got back into writing code but learned so much more while doing ii. So from my experience, I would highly recommend it. Just zero in on something you find super interesting.
21
aerovistae 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't quit altogether, but I have left my job every 18 months or so to take a few months off. Spent 3 months in Europe this past time and now just starting up a new job search. When working I save more than enough money to cover the cost of the months without work.

So far it's provided a very relaxing pace of life giving me a nice break from the office grind every time I start to get fed up with it.

I figure sooner or later it will get hard to find jobs with a work history like that, but we'll see how this round goes.

22
hoozter 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think they are on hacker news anymore :)
23
callinyouin 2 days ago 3 replies      
I feel the same way you feel. Growing up I was absolutely fascinated with computers and knew I wanted to be a computer scientist since the age of 12 or 13. Now that I'm in the industry (and not in academia like I initially thought I wanted) the magic is gone and I want to get out, hopefully within the next 5 years or so. It's not that I dislike programming, in fact I still love it, but now that I'm solving other peoples' problems instead of working on my own pet projects it's just not the same.

As far as what I'd do afterwards? I'm kind of at a loss. I've had ideas that range from opening a bar to buying a plot of land and farming it, but they all seem so crazy and out of reach.

24
jrnichols 1 day ago 0 replies      
I quit working in tech to become an EMT and now a Paramedic. I was completely burnt out with the M-F 9-5 drag that IT jobs kept me in. I was not at the developer level, more support/sysadmin roles. And all of them over the years just burnt me out.

I make way less than what I used to. However, I'm happier. I enjoy my job so much more. I still do tech stuff as sort of a hobby and I keep my small web hosting company, maintain some sysadmin skills that way.

Would I go back? Yes. Mostly for financial reasons.

I'm also certified as a firefighter, but at the age of 41, the chances of me getting on with a fire department full time are very low. I am frequently disqualified from jobs because of age limits (legal in fire service jobs, unfortunately) and that (like it or not) I am not a protected class that would be exempt. On paper, younger candidates are much more preferable. I work for a private EMS agency (not all 911 services are provided by fire based EMS) instead, but am still at least applying for part time smaller town fire departments.

I feel like my skills with server administration are kind of stagnant. A lot of places aren't self hosting things anymore. The big push to outsource and virtualize services cut into the market I was in substantially. I have been looking at some desktop support jobs, and they are not only more rigid with hours, but pay less than what I make now. And we don't make a ton in EMS, that's for sure....

25
globalgoat 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm back in the industry at the moment, but I did quit my job a few years back. I hired an allotment, grew a lot of vegetables, taught myself to bake bread and did a few other projects.

How was it? It was just great and it taught me about living on much smaller amounts of money, which is very helpful now that I have children and I work for a charity.

So maybe that's slightly off topic, and more of a career break than quitting the industry, but I'd still recommend it all the same.

26
thinnerlizzy 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't know yet, but after leaving my last job about 4 months ago, I'm thinking about getting out. My last job was great fun, but led me straight to Nowheresville, as the skills I was using are not in great demand. ~2 years of doing that and my other tech skills are basically obsolete. Nobody is even looking for Angular anymore, and the jobs I see that use a LAMP stack look terribly boring to me. I'm going to take a React class and try to get a roster of clients that will let me work remotely. I've been hesitating to do this, because I really do not enjoy building systems for the web anymore. The only saving grace would be working remotely.
27
altitudinous 1 day ago 2 replies      
I started writing some apps and then quit my tech job to do them full time. I took a big risk in quitting my job, I was making $3 a day at that point. I was EXTREMELY burned out with the work though (Java/Oracle dev) so was for my mental sanity. I learned how to make money quickly from the apps, I make 3 sometimes 4 figures a day so support myself. I chose evergreen apps, they are always popular. I delivered my first app 6 years ago, quit job 3 years ago. I have done apps enough, I am looking at getting back into other fields, likely that I will do tech again this year. First goal to achieve this year is a mortgage free home, then will consider how I feel about things. Apps are now passive, I am burned out on devving new ones, I like keeping the UI's on the existing ones up to date if I feel like doing something. I feel I am in a good position but indie apps has been lonely and has warped my social life - working for others has a social advantage. Apps also now 100% passive so want to have the advantage of earning $ while I can - make hay while the sun shines.
28
rfzabick 2 days ago 1 reply      
I also had been in software for over a decade and was bored with most of the problems I needed to solve. I switched to security about a year and a half ago (largely pen testing) and I'm much happier. When I code, I care about the problems I'm solving. I also get to break things which is a lot of fun. Switching to security might be something to consider for you as well. It's a change, but it doesn't require huge pay cut or lifestyle change.
29
anexprogrammer 2 days ago 0 replies      
To follow on from the little thread from my comment over there [0]...

I was getting far too jaded and cynical about the constant reinvention of the wheel that was never better, just different. Along with the ever increasing crap masquerading as the next must have with added lock-in. We have far too much stuff and need to make less. The dissonance had me feeling part of the problem not the solution.

I'm less wealthy, but the dot com bust taught me to be frugal (or starve). But I'm spending a lot less too. I'm orders of magnitude happier and satisfied. I feel like I'm doing something substantive and feel good about what I do. I have more options and interesting choices in how the second career develops than I expected. I feel fitter and healthier, and I get to see daylight rather more!

The idea of side project or two to keep my tech neurons active appeals, and after 3 years or so out, appeals rather more. If it makes some extra so much the better.

Overall probably the best thing I've ever done.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13334774

30
analog31 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if this counts, because I quit before my career started. I learned programming in high school, ca. 1981, and I had a summer internship at a large data processing shop with an IBM 370 and several timesharing minicomputers. Also, my older brother was in the programming business, and I was able to look ahead to the typical CompSci coursework at the colleges in my area.

I loved programming, but it seemed like both the coursework and what programmers actually did for a living was pretty dull. Of course I wasn't exposed to the full range of possibilities, and it was just before the computer industry exploded, which nobody in my circle (parents, advisors etc.) predicted.

I went to college and majored in math. It seemed like the things that attracted me to programming were going on in the math and physics departments, so I was happy, and ended up with a physics degree. Today, I use programming as a problem solving tool, but have never held an actual IT job.

31
pragone 2 days ago 3 replies      
Went to medical school. It's about as much fun as going to medical school can be, but I'm much happier than I was in software (I think?).
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mindways 2 days ago 0 replies      
My life since age 30 has been a slow odyssey away from a tech career.

After many years of software engineering, I switched to part-time in order to dabble in board game design on the side. It was fantastic - enough money to live comfortably, lots more free time - but also a little bit like golden handcuffs: in order to switch tech jobs, I'd have had to find another place OK with me working 3 days/week.

After doing that for 6-7 years, I talked it over with my wife and quit my tech job to do househusbanding instead. It got her more time (fewer chores) and me even more time (household work didn't take nearly the 30 hours/week that 3 days work + commute had), which let me ramp up the board game design. My wife works in tech, so one income was more than enough for us, even socking away plenty for retirement. It took some psychological adjustment on my part, but she was really good about vocally appreciating the work I did, which helped a lot with the transition. (Plus, I got to give a big middle finger to gender stereotypes, which was a source of satisfaction. :)

Then we decided to have kids, and I became a stay-at-home dad. Help from family and babysitters means I'm still able to spend some time pursuing game design (note: this is not cost-efficient - either "I parent full-time" or "daycare" would be cheaper - but it works for us, for now), and parenting is fantastic. Also frequently exhausting and frustrating - there's a heavy tradeoff of immediate-gratification happiness for life-arc happiness - but very rewarding, and the sound of my kids laughing together is pretty much the best thing in the world.

I still love programming, I just don't do it much. (Little side projects for fun every once in a while, or simple tools supporting my game design.) And I think I enjoy it more when I do, because I'm doing it intermittently of my own volition. Once both kids are in school and I have a little more time, I'll probably start messing around with mobile development - I find it slightly disconcerting to look at a computing device and not have the bone-deep certainty that if I chose to invest the time, I could make it do just about anything I dreamed up.

With financial reasons as your main barrier to quitting the industry, much of my experience won't apply to you - my wife's salary is the only reason things work as they currently do. But if you can fix your budget so that you can live (and save!) on 40-80% of your current income, you can try to find/make opportunities to switch to part-time work. I found that when I did, the benefits of the extra free time made me more focused during my working hours, and happiness with my life situation made me more excited about my job in general.

33
DoodleBuggy 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's an idea I have entertained, maybe some day will pursue.

Those I know who have bailed out tended to go in three directions:

- Teaching public school

- Diving instructors

- Owning a bar/restaurant in some touristy location

From observation, the teachers seem most fulfilled, and the divers seem to have the most fun.

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mreider 1 day ago 0 replies      
I quit high tech in 2001 and got my masters in education. I taught science in the East Bay - across from San Francisco.

I ended up going back to high tech. Teaching took too much out of me - emotionally. In no way do I regret the move to teach - it was a vital piece of my growth as a person. Plus, I am still in touch with some of my former students, including a young woman that my wife and I helped get through nursing school.

As I get older I tend to approach things differently - I dare say better? The passion I felt towards technology in my 20s has changed. What I bring to my career in my 40's is more personal and meaningful now. It's about doing good work that I can be proud of with people who treat one another with kindness and respect. It's still important for me to love the products I am are building, but my reasons for loving them are broader than they used to be.

35
pieperz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I got burnt out doing JS apps development during the past 2 years. I got laid off and knew I did not want a desk job anymore.

I took what skills I had woodworking/web development and started a business. Its called Stump Crafters I build "stumps" to hammer nails in to its a pretty fun game and is not as dumb as it sounds. The game is in much the same vein as Cornhole, washers or other backyard games.

I even made a custom Node.js for a local meet-up group I go to often. https://stumpcrafters.com/pages/custom

I have not fully bailed on IT yet. But I don't think I will be touching any code in another few months.

Now I spend most of my time working in the shop and running the store. It's awesome.

Check it out at:

https://stumpcrafters.com

https://facebook.com/stumpcrafters

https://instagram.com/stumpcrafters

https://twitter.com/stumpcrafters

edit: Spelling

36
mathattack 2 days ago 0 replies      
I took a 5 year journey into grad school and finance. Came back to tech on the services side. I found my programming skills got dated very quickly, but it's been fun learning new things on the side of my day job.

One suggestion - look into new domains to apply your tech skills.

37
jshupe 10 hours ago 0 replies      
osteopathic medicine, high problem solving to meeting ratio - must like people, financially a lifetime wash due to cost of education
38
querulous 21 hours ago 0 replies      
i quit the industry for nearly a decade in my mid 20s. i went to work in the film industry in various on set roles (carpenter, painter, setdec, grip). i got to the point where i was mostly middle management and the hours were long and the money good-but-inconsistent so i got back into programming and returned to dev full time 2.5 years ago

i don't regret leaving dev but i'm also glad i returned

39
khedoros1 2 days ago 1 reply      
A friend worked in software dev for a city in the area, for a few years. He left that job to become a professional photographer. I think he's been doing that on and off for at least the last 5 years. He's doing that, but also some software work.

He seems happy. He bought a house for his wife and son. At least from the outside, he seems to be doing well.

40
chrislipa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Travel the world. Read Hacker News.
41
late2part 2 days ago 1 reply      
Point of order - most of us don't work in IT. We work in "tech."

I love my IT brethren but not all of us do desktop installs and tech support for a living.

42
0xdeadbeefbabe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I quit the industry, but IT doesn't know yet or maybe IT just can't tell the difference. Pretty much my karma goes up and down as I correct strangers on HN.
28
The Art of Pitching: How I Got Published in The Atlantic upupgrow.com
217 points by mike2477  2 days ago   88 comments top 11
1
pieterhg 2 days ago 7 replies      
There's more to this story. I was the first person to be interviewed by this journalist (Michael Thomas @curious_founder). He approached me on Twitter to ask questions about digital nomad and remote work life (as I founded Nomad List and have been doing it for years).

I told him it'd be great to see more honest depictions as most articles are heavily idealized making it sound all great, when it's not necessarily. It's ups and downs (just like regular life really).

What happened next may surprise you. He wrote a hit piece on me changing my entire story that I told him over Skype into a clickbait article of how digital nomadism doesn't work and one of the main people doing it for awhile (en public) even settled down and gave up altogether.

http://qz.com/775751/digital-nomad-problems-nomadlist-and-re...

I didn't settle down. I spent the summer in Amsterdam. Cause you know, it's a nice place! But he needed to say this to make a polarized hit piece with an angle. And that piece became viral. Resulting in me having to tell people daily that I didn't and getting lots of flack. You may understand it doesn't help if your entire startup is about something and a journalist writes a viral piece how you yourself don't even believe in that anymore. I contacted the journalist and Quartz but they didn't change a thing.

It's great this meant his journalistic breakthrough but it hurt me in the process.

I'd argue journalists like this are the whole problem we have these days. The articles they write can't be balanced because they need to get pageviews. Every potential to write something interesting quickly turns into clickbait. It turned me off from being interviewed ever again. Doing my own PR by posting comment sections of Hacker News or Reddit seems like a better idea (also see how Elon Musk does exactly this, seems smarter).

So yes, I'd argue don't follow this guy's path, instead be nice, honest and write interesting articles. It might take longer but you'll have more karma and long-term more success. And maybe you can convince me to do interviews again, some day :)

2
6stringmerc 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is a great article if somebody has unlimited resources to pay rent, buy food, and focus on obtaining a basically temporal literary achievement; however, it offers no practical utility with respect to actually getting paid to write and earn a living by way of the craft, so...uhh...if you need a textbook fluff piece, here ya go.
3
danso 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is all excellent advice. I especially love that the OP uses a spreadsheet to systematically track his pitches and their status. I think using a spreadsheet for such structured list keeping is the best way to get comfortable with spreadsheets (if you're "just" a writer) while being the optimal way to improve your own work and note-taking. I do it for public records requests and searching for Craigslist apartments.
4
Nomentatus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like the article. Hey, an informative article, whoa...

Re the controversy over article one, it is astonishing what shitty reporters we humans are, almost to a person. Just astonishing. I don't exclude myself. Everyone thinks they're a great, accurate reporter so they think reporting well must be pretty easy. Wrong on both counts.

5
sfashset 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great article, but I'm wondering if it isn't missing the most important piece of information - how did you track down the editors, and their email addresses? Or is this information that can be gleaned from twitter?
6
bbctol 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey, I remember reading that Atlantic article and being curious to see other things you'd written! Pity you don't have an easy-to-Google name...

A question regarding the spreadsheet: have you found it better to just list every pitch you do in order, even if it's the same story? What I do is have publications as columns and stories as rows, so I can easily keep track of where I have or haven't submitted something, but I'm curious if you see an advantage to the straight list.

7
AndrewKemendo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Storytelling is so critically important for everything in business and life. If you have new ideas or want to create something new you need to be able to captivate the audience with a good story.

You could equally apply this framework to pitching investors, job prospects, customers etc...

8
mrwinterje 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great advice for a new marketing director who hasn't had to deal with PR before!
9
criddell 2 days ago 0 replies      
At the bottom there's an email link to get access to all the pitches. Why not remove the friction and just post some links?
10
andrewfromx 2 days ago 1 reply      
how were you getting the email address to write into? just going through the normal contact us general inbox of the publication or finding one person there and always pitching a specific person?
11
shubhamjain 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a brilliant article. It concerns with Magazine publishing but I can guess that the principles apply everywhere. I read the author's pitches with a mind of an editor constantly thinking how would I ever possibly pass it?

The surprising thing about pitching / selling is how oversold is the "magical" knack of the business guy who knows how to woo. But it's only a matter of understanding that people are willing to listen to you as long as you aren't wasting their time. Editors are more than eager to publish an excellent story, but a pitch like "I want to write about AI" won't cut it.

I have a small blog[1] on which I occasionally write stuff. My process has always been to write a small post, publish, post on HN and disappear with disappointment when they don't catch attention. I think I understand it better now that it's not only a matter of writing novel ideas, but also catching the attention from the first headline, and the first paragraph. In our minds we think of our writing / pitch as a whole, but, for the reader, it's a progressively building story.

[1]: https://shubhamjain.co/

29
Visiting a site that uses Disqus when not logged in sends URL to Facebook dantup.com
201 points by d2p  2 days ago   75 comments top 15
1
Raphmedia 2 days ago 6 replies      
I wish all website would wait for the user to turn on social features before offering them. I'm not interested in any of them, the scripts shouldn't be loaded for nothing.

Take a look at this way to do it: http://panzi.github.io/SocialSharePrivacy/

2
codazoda 2 days ago 1 reply      
This tracking stuff is a plaque and I'm part of the problem. I run an unpopular site with random bits of information on it that uses AdSense to give me a few bucks a month and Disqus to allow comments.

Uhg. I really need to think about whether I want to be part of the problem.

3
j_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
As mentioned in the article there was a related discussion yesterday, where removal of ad network stuff doesn't really matter since Disqus is used for comments:

I've removed all ad network code from my blog (troyhunt.com)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13326792

This included a screenshot of DoubleClick still being blocked on Troy Hunt's blog.

4
GrinningFool 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm reviving my blog, and currently plan to explicitly ask:

1. May we retrieve common libraries from third party CDNs? Doing so helps support this site by saving on our bandwidth costs, but may expose information about you to those third parties.

2. This site allows commenting through Disqus. We have no control over what Disqus does with your data, and so your information may be exposed to Disqus and any third parties they communicate with. Would you like to enable comments?

3. (Similar for tracking, if I decide to do something other than log parsing.)

Default 'no' to all, and I still need to find a way to ask the questions in a way that doesn't disrupt simply viewing a blog post that someone linked. Perhaps if someone returns, I'll prompt then.

Anyone have thoughts on if this sounds sane?

5
rsync 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just a note ...

It is possible for someone to say "hugs"[1] at the end of their discourse and still be a liar and a cheat and a terribly bad actor.

No idea, of course, about any of these people - but don't let cost-free, content-free expressions alter your (bullshit/fraud) detector.

[1] See comment on OPs blog from "disqus here"

6
foxhop 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm working on an alternative to Disqus called Remarkbox - http://www.remarkbox.com

One of my early design decisions is to be as lightweight and fast as possible. This means no oauth, no ads, and only core features that you would expect to find in a comment system.

7
em3rgent0rdr 2 days ago 0 replies      
PrivacyBadger blocked his Disqus embed. I think a good test of whether your site/blog is privacy conscious is to see if PrviacyBadger reports any tracker.
8
chubot 2 days ago 1 reply      
I noticed the same thing about a week ago when I was setting up comments for my blog [1]. I hate bloated websites, so I copied the Disqus markup and opened up Chrome dev tools, and saw the Facebook URL along with dozens of other resources being loaded.

I ended up researching WAY too many comment systems, and eventually settled on Reddit. Not ideal, but better than all the alternatives.

Blog commenting is pretty broken right now, I guess due to the dominance of social networks. I wanted to write my own blog comment service in rage but thought better of it.

Disqus seems pretty sloppy. I was surprised to learn that they were an early YC company.

[1] http://www.oilshell.org/blog/2016/12/29.html

9
d2p 2 days ago 1 reply      
FWIW - Disqus commented on my article - there's a link to their comment right at the top of the article now.
10
jzl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ugh, thanks for this. I've made it a goal to start understanding all the little tricks and details of modern day tracking techniques that allow Facebook, Amazon, etc., to know everything that I do. Anyone know if there's a good one-stop-shop website for this topic? I've found lots of separate articles about the it but no central clearinghouse of information.
11
brlewis 2 days ago 3 replies      
Some years ago I looked at Facebook's ToS for implementing "log in with Facebook" and at that time it looked like it precluded an implementation that would only send requests to Facebook if the user chose Facebook login. I don't think it's for sure that disqus could fix this problem if they wanted to.
12
the8472 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Troy cited tracking as one of the reasons for removing ads

Ads should be loaded into <iframe sandbox referrerpolicy="no-referrer">

It would still give them some information (affiliate ID and user IP) but no cookies or tracking of user interaction with the page itself.

13
Spooky23 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's an unfortunate reality. Once Amazon figures out who you are, they send a feed of everything to you at or buy to FB.
14
sfblah 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think Ghostery stops this.
15
rasz_pl 2 days ago 2 replies      
>Im certain Disqus could fix this,

most likely they are getting paid for this tracking

30
Symbolic mathematics on Linux lwn.net
204 points by leephillips  3 days ago   70 comments top 20
1
a_e_k 3 days ago 3 replies      
Emacs' calc can also be surprisingly powerful. Not quite at the level of Maxima, but still perfectly capable of basic symbolic algebra and calculus, arbitrary precision arithmetic, linear algebra, and other good things.

I use it quite heavily since it's right there in my editor. It's kind of like a good-enough phone camera that's always close at hand vs. a dedicated camera that's better but takes more effort to have ready.

2
joelg 3 days ago 1 reply      
Also worth noting is scmutils [0], which is a symbolic computing library for MIT Scheme that Gerry Sussman [1] wrote and uses to teach 6.945 Symbolic Systems and 6.946 Computational Classical Mechanics. The documentation is sparse, but it's incredibly powerful, especially if you're already familiar with Scheme.

[0] http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/gjs/6946/refman.txt

[1] ... And many others including Hal Abelson and Jack Wisdom

3
infruset 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is probably obvious to most people here, but I just want to mention that such software should not be trusted blindly for mathematical correctness. It is easy in most computer algebra systems to find false results (and trivial if it includes numerical computations).

An interesting related thread: http://mathoverflow.net/questions/11517/computer-algebra-err...

4
partycoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a cloud version of Sage called SageMathCloud.Sage is supported in many distributions, and is also available in a docker image for convenience.

Note that that's not all. Major commercial math packages like Maple, Mathematica, Mathlab all support Linux as well.

Then you have Scilab, Octave, R, and many others... which happen to also be integrated into Sage, that you can use independently or through some GUI.

5
n00b101 3 days ago 1 reply      
Also see PARI/GP [1] (specialized CAS for number theory) and GAP [2] (specialized CAS for group theory). These systems are very prominent within their fields.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARI/GP

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAP_(computer_algebra_system...

6
torrent-of-ions 2 days ago 2 replies      
No mention of Axiom: http://www.axiom-developer.org/

As far as I know, it's the only CAS to have a full implementation of the Risch algorithm for symbolic integration, and it's also written in a literate programming style.

7
benley 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another cool one is Mathics, which is a Mathematica-like system implemented in Python, using SymPy behind the scenes:

https://github.com/mathics/Mathicshttp://www.mathics.org/

8
lacampbell 3 days ago 2 replies      
I strongly recommend maxima. Great tool, and a clean language as well. I am shocked so few people have heard of it or use it.
9
balnaphone 2 days ago 0 replies      
My favorite tools for symbolic math are Maxima as discussed in the article, for interactive exploration, and GiNaC for large-scale computation.

http://www.ginac.de/

GiNaC is really fantastic for problems where you have symbolic models that are generated from large data sets, especially iterating between solvers and symbolic forms.

For example, high-dimensional Cox proportional hazards models have semi-parametric forms that require a mixture of symbolic and numeric computation. In this case, our study run-time was over 3 days, over a few thousand cores. Without compiling the numerics to native code, taking advantage of symbolic simplifications, and calculating Hessians symbolically then evaluating millions of times numerically, the same study would have required years of runtime.

In a computer vision application, I used GiNaC::compile_ex for a similar advantage, solving stochastic functional equations, and selecting optimal model parameters, while accounting for noise. In a way, the massive boost in symbolic + numeric speed made this practically interactive, since previous models could be cached in a compiled form, meaning that instead of plodding along, looking at a few stills here and there to see if the algorithms were producing good results, I could use live video feeds and interactively get a sense of whether the noise and stochastic model were functioning as intended.

One of the most fun programs I ever wrote is a program that generates symbolic forms for stochastic models, runs them against live camera feeds, which in turn generates optimal copulas and so on, that get reduced to C code, that ultimately produces optimized VHDL. Every step involves iterations of symbolic calculation, numeric calculation, and generating the code that will perform the next step. The code is a mixture of C++ (model computations, camera IO, optimal pipelining for VHDL), Octave (graphical views), R (statistical routines), C (mostly generated code), Perl (code transformations), and VHDL (mostly generated code). The only part that wasn't so fun was actually invoking the windows-based Altera VHDL compiler, which could take an hour or more to do the synthesis.

Also, GNU Octave also has a nice package ("symbolic") for using GiNaC interactively.

https://octave.sourceforge.io/symbolic/

10
teddyh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of alternatives in the answers to this Unix & Linux StackExchange question:

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/20438/open-source-c...

11
divbit 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't see Maple mentioned, but that was occasionally useful for algebraic geometry type stuff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_computer_algebra_system

12
pmiller2 2 days ago 3 replies      
I know it's proprietary as hell, but, honestly, you can't beat Mathematica for general symbolic math use. It has an incredible array of libraries available for just about every need, and the language is very pleasant to work with.
13
robmyzie2 2 days ago 1 reply      
No mention of Axiom/Fricas? IMO, they are the most powerful.
14
infinity0 2 days ago 0 replies      
The article mentions a PPA for SageMath; in fact we recently (re)packaged SageMath for official Debian, here:

https://packages.debian.org/sid/sagemath

If all goes well it will be in the next Debian stable. Please help test it! It has ~180 build-dependencies, possibly the most of any Debian package.

15
BeetleB 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used Sage many years ago (around 2008/2009). Awesome project.

It had the "notebook" for Python before iPython itself had it (now called Jupyter).

16
edejong 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm always slightly sad to see a reference to TeXmacs [1], while it is not developed anymore. Does anyone know why the project has been abandoned? Always amazed by the beautiful layout of the interface.

[1] https://www.ceremade.dauphine.fr/~mgubi/tm-web/documents/tut...

17
raphinou 2 days ago 0 replies      
I discovered this a couple of years ago, but never had the opportunity to use it extensively:

http://en.smath.info/

Anyone having experience with it?

18
achamilt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ket is a minimalist approach. It's a maths text editor.The basic idea is that algebra is just rapid text editing.Equations are written in mark-down, displayed in conventional notation and edited with Vim commands.https://sourceforge.net/projects/ket/
19
ecesena 2 days ago 0 replies      
Back in the days I used Magma for symbolic algebra/geometry. Not sure about the status of the project today, but it had absolutely unique features to work in extension fields, rings, and build abelian varieties on these.
20
slowrabbit 2 days ago 4 replies      
Why does lwn.net look like its straight out of the 90s? Poor ugly duckling... surely there is a designer out there willing to give you some love.
       cached 9 January 2017 03:11:01 GMT