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The House just voted to wipe out the FCCs landmark Internet privacy protections washingtonpost.com
893 points by blazingfrog2  2 days ago   496 comments top 58
pnathan 2 days ago 16 replies      
This, right here, is the consequence of the withdrawal from politics many geeks advocated very strongly in an earlier time. "Everything is corrupt, it doesn't matter"... turns out to only be a viable philosophy when things mostly work well enough.

What we have in protections and freedoms were purchased through a ton of hard work by prior generations: the liberty to slack and think that it just works ok is a nice side effect of the prior sweat.

tomohawk 2 days ago 16 replies      
Before getting all spun up, I'd dig a little deeper on the issue than what the WaPo does in this piece.

These regulations were only voted on late in 2016 and never went into effect. To do the regulations, the FCC reclassified the internet as basically ye olde telephone system, which then made it subject to their purview based on laws created in the 1930s. This is classic overreach. Congress never gave this authority to the FCC and is acting to put them back in line with the law.

It's pathetic the the WaPo used their platform to create more heat than light on this, by selective quoting. Here's a more full quote from Rep Blackburn that explains her position more fully.

The FCC already has the ability to oversee privacy with broadband providers, Blackburn explained. That is done primarily through Section 222 of the Communications Act, and additional authority is granted through Sections 201 and 202. Now, what they did was to go outside of their bounds and expand that. They did a swipe at the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC. They have traditionally been our nations primary privacy regulator, and they have done a very good job of it.

The lesson here really is that if the issue is really important, then get an actual law passed instead of trying to contort regulatory authority based on laws from the 1930s. The previous president could certainly have done this, but chose not to.

callcallcall 2 days ago 5 replies      
Please do not complain into the echo chamber of comments here. Please take a moment to support the EFF, call your representatives, and speak to friends and family.

EFF: https://www.eff.org/Find your reps: https://tryvoices.com/

vancan1ty 2 days ago 3 replies      
Something that is not mentioned in the article is that the FCC regulations in question were passed in October 2016 and have never gone in to effect. So, to be strictly accurate, the vote does not roll back any regulations which actually ever affected the internet.


doctorshady 2 days ago 9 replies      
It's a bit disappointing to see that aside from a few abstained votes, everybody just chose to vote along party lines. Do these people just rubber stamp a bill because there's a D or an R next to it? Even if it meant more nay votes for the bill, I really wish we had representatives that vote based on critical thought rather than what their friends were doing.

I mean, as long as I'm dreaming too, we should give assembly programming kits to first graders.

vvanders 2 days ago 2 replies      
As someone who grew up during the early days of the internet I don't know of any other way to describe this than utterly depressing.

The internet was supposed to be this bastion of knowledge, information and free exchange of ideas. Now it's just heading towards another avenue for large-organizations monetize the individual.

alistproducer2 2 days ago 1 reply      
One aspect of this that is being missed is how well this illustrates the inability of the Democratic party to take advantage of an obviously advantageous situation.

It's a no brainer that most people would recoil at the idea of everything they do on the Internet suddenly being for sale. It would be super easy to come up with at least a dozen relatable nefarious use cases and stuff them into TV commercials and ads and tying it to the Republican party.

But nope, silence. It's almost like they don't want to be in power. It feels like I live in a de facto one-party state.

Gustomaximus 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you want an idea to get mass movement against this;

Start some display campaigns injecting peoples names and other personal information into ads. Have this follow people around the web. Even if data is not taken from what has been allowed here, most people will find it creepy. Link ad to a website explaining whats going on and how to contact their local member.

I suspect with a fairly reasonable spend you could get some strong resistance and media attention.

dbg31415 2 days ago 1 reply      
# House

YEAs ---215


NAYs ---205


Not Voting ---9


House Results - http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll202.xml

# Senate

YEAs ---50


NAYs ---48


Not Voting ---2


Senate Results - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13943060

(I liked this format.)

gwu78 2 days ago 4 replies      
This thread may grow long and maybe turn to the topic of HTTPS. SSL with SNI exposes plaintext hostnames/domainnames on the wire for anyone to read, aggregate and sell, not to mention tamper with. It should be an optional extension. For many users it adds no benefit. For some users, it breaks their software and adds needless complexity. Now the privacy advocates have a reason to dislike it too. Just say no to SNI.
kevinpet 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I'd definitely like to see restrictions on internet browsing being protected at least as much as library circulation records [1] and video rentals [2], as a fan of checks and balances, the mere concept of a regulatory agency passing "landmark" regulations on anything is troubling. Either that power is in the law giving regulatory authority to the agency, and hence, it shouldn't be called "landmark"; or the power is outside the scope of what Congress intended when enacting the law, in which case it's a a bureaucratic power grab.

1. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/privacyconfidentiality/privacy/s...2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Privacy_Protection_Act

marvindanig 2 days ago 5 replies      
Before we jump in a shock and talk about the TFW political disaster there is happening in DC at the moment I want to ask a question:

Is there a simple guide or steps that I can follow to make myself anonymous? I know there is TOR and VPNs, how can I go about setting it up?

alistproducer2 2 days ago 3 replies      
Please share your VPN setups. I would like to have my VPN connection at the router level, if possible.

Edit: Here's sort of an answer to my own questionhttps://www.howtogeek.com/221889/connect-your-home-router-to...

harryh 2 days ago 1 reply      
To all of you who are you who are saying that it's now vital to use a VPN I have to ask:

Why weren't you running a VPN already?

This was a vote to head off the implementation of a regulation that hadn't gone into effect already.

pcmaffey 2 days ago 3 replies      
Welp, now there's a real market opportunity for 'open' ISP's. I would gladly pay more to a smaller ISP with slightly higher latency for guaranteed privacy.

SpaceX's planned satellite internet will hopefully fill this void for the world... until Elon dies and it's taken over by the evil, ignoramuses of corporate greed.

quillo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would expect that this will have an unexpected (?) side effect of further weakening the capabilities of packet inspection by intelligence agencies through increased utilisation of VPN services, especially those outside of the US.

At face value this is a good thing for privacy, but I am concerned that when lawmakers realise their error they will just legislate themselves out of the hole by making access to VPN services harder.

prirun 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hear people say how important it is to participate in the political process. But when the process itself is broken, what's the point of participating?

We can vote alright, but what we are actually voting for is the person who is the most convincing liar and makes the most appealing "promises", without them being obligated in any way to actually implement their promises once elected.

As I see it, individuals only have a couple of effective ways to influence politics:

- withdraw your financial participation in things you don't agree with. This is extremely difficult: most people are not willing to endure the sacrifices necessary, and we're not coordinated to do it together. If everyone (or even 10%) canceled their Internet service, cable service, or whatever, for 1 month, THAT would get attention. If 10% were willing to lower their standard of living in order to reduce the government's tax take by 10%, that would get attention.

- regular individuals need to donate more money to politicians than corporations and wealthy individuals. It's a sickening thought to me that the only way to get public servants to actually serve the public is to bribe them, but obviously that works.

slang800 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't doing this type of data collection without consent already banned under the [Wiretap Act](https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2511)? What part of these protections weren't redundant?
vhost- 2 days ago 2 replies      
Doesn't this mean the government can basically buy user data through shell corps and bypass warrants all together?
davidf18 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Register: Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules


"Now, the really big question is: can your ISPs see the content of your online interactions? Can it read your emails? Can it read your search results? Can it store and search through the words you typed into a webpage?

And the answer is: yes, sometimes.

If the website you visit is not secured with HTTPS meaning that any data between you and the website is encrypted then your ISP can see exactly what you are doing."

Read the article for suggestions on how to protect yourself.

Also read:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/28/so_my_isp_can_now_se...

asimjalis 2 days ago 3 replies      
Is there another side to this debate or is it really this black and white?
cmurf 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2017/h202215 yea, 205 nea. All yeas were Republicans.
msutherl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any clarity re: this comment[1], which seems to suggest that things are not as they seem?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13942989

> In June 2015, the FCC reclassified the ISP's as common carriers. Tada, the FTC rules no longer apply. So the FCC regulated them with roughly the same set of rules. Now they've undone this.

AndrewDP 2 days ago 0 replies      
The underlying argument here is there is no difference between say Google and Verizon: the customer has to opt in (or pay) for both. And from a free market (aka conservative) economic perspective if this is a concern shared by the population, someone will offer it as a service that people will pay for (a VPN tax if you will).

This is an unfortunate example where government is not set up to address concerns of today's environment. They are trying to apply legal constructs of 20-50 years ago to a quickly changing age. And while you can argue whether the prior administration did the right thing legislating in this environment, the one thing they did was understand that access to the Internet should be a right as opposed to a privilege. Like education, access to 911, etc. As more services move exclusively online, this fundamental access question only becomes a greater concern.

If individuals aren't guaranteed access nor have any protections online, then we are heading into a very dangerous area (if the only way to lodge a claim against your internet provider is online, then they will know what you are doing).

Tepix 2 days ago 0 replies      
So the GOP argues that it's unfair because streaming services and search engines can already collect this data and ISPs couldn't.

I don't understand how they fail to recognize that ISPs will

a) see all of the sites you will visit and

b) many people can't choose between ISPs because there are only a few in their area

It seems that for the GOP, as long as there is profit for corporations, they are willing to give up the privacy of the voters.

How is this different than the telephone company eavesdropping on your calls and selling the information gained to marketing companies?

virmundi 2 days ago 0 replies      
So why is this necessarily bad? My understanding is that the Congress repealed a fiat control by the executive branch. They can now, if they are are so inclined, enshrine in law, a more durable medium than agency policy, a freer Internet. Let's assume that the Republicans don't. Let's also assume that they make local municipal Internet or competition harder. The Democrats could get elected in 2018 at which point they could enshrine privacy. How is limiting the executive branch bad?
tehabe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this has any consequences for the US EU Privacy Shield agreement.
cwkoss 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, how should we write an daemon that pings high-advertising-value domains to poison their dataset?
CrippledTurtle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone explain why, when this went through the Senate, it wasn't filibustered? I was under the impression that almost all controversial legislation had to pass the filibuster threshold, and since Democrats were united in opposition against it, I would have expected them to filibuster this. Was there some loophole preventing them from doing so, or did they not consider it important enough to filibuster?
callinyouin 2 days ago 4 replies      
Does anyone know if this works retroactively? Is every data-hungry company soon going to know all of our past browsing behavior?
Slackwise 2 days ago 0 replies      
Welp, time to pipe all port 80 and 443 traffic in my home through http://privateinternetaccess.com , via the OpenVPN config in OpenWRT.
chrisallick 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well, they had unlimited bullets and needed just one to hit. We needed to block everyone. But how can people follow a story let alone a lobbying effort with our current ADHD news cycle...

Can someone give people like me a "5 things to fight back" list?

Jach 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maybe someone at YC could reach out to Thiel who could convince Trump to veto? Something like that is probably the only realistic chance of this failing, and I have no idea how much Thiel personally cares about this issue anyway.
heurist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awful. I stand to profit greatly from that data being commercially available but the personal violation underlying it is unjustifiable.

Who will be the first to start a "privacy-driven" ISP with marked up prices?

adam_ellsworth 2 days ago 0 replies      
What's the immediate consequence of this ruling? What is liable to change? Who can buy "my" data? What kind of time-frame are we looking at? Can foreign nationals buy data en-masse directly and/or will their purchases be proxied through "US citizens"? What depth of archives will be up for purchase? So man questions regarding this... I'd like to know the general fallout of this in both short and long-term results.
MBCook 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why don't articles like this ever link to the votes so you can actually look up how your rep voted (mine? Party line, no surprise)? Took me a few minutes to find it.
thomastjeffery 2 days ago 3 replies      
Time to start paying the VPN tax.
username223 2 days ago 0 replies      
(1) This wipes out almost all the value of surveillance companies that don't require logins. Why bother with doubleclick et al when you can get data straight from the ISP?

(2) HTTPS makes a limited amount of sense. Even on encrypted connections, ISPs know which domains you visit. In some situations they may also be able to MITM your certificates and read the data you transmit.

(3) Any semblance of privacy now requires either a reputable VPN or TOR.

xnx 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish Google would offer VPN service again (waaaay back they had some Windows utilities that would proxy your web connection).
SteveNuts 2 days ago 3 replies      
Not that I'm necessarily OK with either, but what's the difference between this and the myriad of other sites that are collecting your browser habits/search history and selling it?

I'm not for this at all vote at all, and I'm not sure why Trump supporters are, I'm just trying to come up with a good argument for why it's worse.

equalarrow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Being that this is a pretty red vs. blue issue, there's not a ton ton can do about it if you live in non-red states.

The eff is an obvious choice and I'm a member and have been for almost 20 years.

In my mind the big thing is people that vote for republicans don't fully understand that they are voting for non-privacy, pro-business, and really, pro-military. Granted, there are some dems that can fall into this trap and 9/11 pretty much ensnared all but a few into the reactionary mindset. This actually took true visionaries and leaders to overcome; few and far between.

So, really, local debate has to happen in the red states where these majorities are elected. This is a long uphill battle, but the message of "mega-corporations are not your friends" has to be paramount and when you're not earning tech salaries, we are part of the problem.

For coal miners and all these higher profile ise cases, we need to re-connect with the human and community level. That's the disconnect right there; it's easier to get angry about 'the swamp' than it is to try to take your own local municipality into your own hands or figuring out how to stay local vs. state.

California, New York, etc - these aren't the battlegrounds. They are the future. The majority of their population already agrees on global warming, privacy, tech, etc. They're one step behind bitcoin/ethereum/altcoins globalization.

But for somone in W. Varginia that's a coal miner that has been laid off (a big Trump talking point), these things matter On a massive level.

So there's our schism - how can we provide a forward thinking, longer term vision that helps the common citizenry? In my mind, everything this repubican extremist 'president' represents are big interests and reducing their unfettered access to unlimited profits, regardless of what that means.

Your (what's left of it) privacy and whatever else is fair game.

I'd advise to (of course) moving to tor, vm's and seriously, cryptocurrencies. Currency is a great way to start hacking back towards 1:1, person:person transactions which leads to a less decentralized money system.

And, If course, money underpins pretty much all us entrepreneurs do.

So, we do have options. :-/ These options include vpn, tor, cryptocurrencies, ethereum, etc.

Edit: mobile spelling corrections.

dfar1 2 days ago 1 reply      
I never cared too much for privacy, but that's one step too far. Lawmakers probably don't understand how this makes them a target, and how their own information will be accessible. Hopefully this will create a market for ISPs that want to protect you. I see VPN markets growing even more.
sixothree 2 days ago 0 replies      
How can I as a user buy access to my own personal information? Maybe this is an opportunity for a new venture.
colordrops 2 days ago 0 replies      
This indicates to me an architectural flaw with the internet. We need to start exploring other techniques to circumvent tracking, perhaps through more distributed systems. The politicians can not be trusted.
coldcode 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't care whose fault it is, what can we actually do to defend ourselves?
cmath 2 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone have suggestions on staying private that my mom could easily follow?
snorrah 2 days ago 0 replies      
The UK and USA engaged in a fierce battle of 'hold my beer'.
ReinholdNiebuhr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Question. When were these FCC rules implemented? I know they were under Obama but right now as I try to learn the history google just keeps giving me the news of the repeal.
danso 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know the political issues are different than in SOPA, but this situation reminds me of how powerful publicity is as a factor in legislation. SOPA was a mostly-unheard of bill that seemed certain to pass (had a huge number of bipartisan sponsors in the Senate [0] and the House [1]) until it blew up into a big online campaign and became mainstream with the blackout [2]. I remember many legislators' staff saying it was the most email and calls they had ever received in a day/week, and these are for members of Congress who voted on Obamacare and the 2002 authorization of use of force in Iraq.

I can't pretend I know what it's like to be a general layperson about tech, but my base instinct is that this issue of Internet privacy protections is much more salient to the average person than SOPA. Yet even as a follower of politics, I barely heard about this until last week when the Senate voted on it.

I can think of a couple of factors:

1. Internet giants advocated heavily against SOPA. Those same companies have less incentive to argue against selling user data, even though selling data at the ISP level is, to me, substantially different than at the website/service level.

2. So much political energy and attention has been spent on the Trump Administration, particularly on the recent push to repeal Obamacare. IIRC, even though SOPA didn't get much media coverage until around the week of the blackout, it wasn't competing with anything quite as big as this past week's vote on Obamacare (nevermind the other issues surrounding the executive branch).

[0] https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/senate-bill/968...

[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/3261...

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

Edit: Worth pointing out the Senate vote from last week, in which no Republican broke ranks in a 50-48 vote. 2 Republicans were not present (edit: I originally wrote "abstained"), including Sen. Rand Paul who is listed as a co-sponsor:



LeicaLatte 2 days ago 1 reply      
What are the plans to anonymize the data? Are there any standards in the advertising industry for sharing such information?
raverbashing 2 days ago 0 replies      
Where's the crowdfunding to buy the navigation history of the representatives involved in the approval of the law?
rb666 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just move to Europe, where there is still some semblance of reasonable regulations and politics (for now).
bikamonki 2 days ago 0 replies      
What VPN provider do you guys recommend?
dmode 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope someone buys browsing history of all Republican Congressman and publishes them on the web
howard941 2 days ago 2 replies      
Could and should have been filibustered in the Senate

edit: note Senate....

intrasight 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't "https everywhere" going to make this a moot point?
orthecreedence 2 days ago 1 reply      
Don't worry, the president will veto this. /s
SES-10 Mission spacex.com
1018 points by traviswingo  16 hours ago   318 comments top 43
SEJeff 16 hours ago 4 replies      
I can't wait until I have a talk with my kids when they realize the significance of this day:

Kid: Daddy, ou mean when you were growing up, they threw away rockets each time?

Me: Yes

Kid: Doesn't that make them expensive?

Me: Yes.

And then not long after will be the other talk:

Kid: Daddy, you mean people used to be in charge of driving themselves in cars?

Me: Yes

Kid: Did people ever die?

Me: Millions

Good job Elon and SpaceX, get some rest, and then focus on the Model 3!

Elon: We have proven what can be done, that many said was impossible. drops mic after SpaceX lands flawlessly

jacquesm 16 hours ago 6 replies      
History was being made today. Super, congratulations to all of SpaceX. Now let's see the landing :)


Apologies to my neighbors who I surely woke up.

Hah :) Incredible! Now, will they fly this one again?

braymundo 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Fantastic!!! Being able to watch a reusable rocket land perfecty, from my mobile phone while casting to a TV, over a computer network, while located in southern Brazil makes me SO PROUD to be human!
ufmace 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Amazing! I genuinely think that this is a bigger deal than the moon landings.

The moon landings were pretty awesome in their own way, but at the end of the day, with the way they were done, it was basically a stunt. None of it put any infrastructure for the long-term access of space into place, or anything to make future moon landings easier.

This paves the way for the costs of space flight to be cut in half, or even a little further. This has the potential to set off an exponential chain of growth of space travel. The further they cut prices, the more customers and launches there are. The more customers there are, the more profit they make, to be plowed back into better, more reliable, and more reusable rockets. And the more incentive their competitors have to come up with their own reusable rockets. The more reusable they are, the further they can bring prices down. Every step reinforces the next, and in 30-50 years, the price of a launch may well be a tenth of what it is today. Maybe closer to a hundredth.

What will we build when access to space costs 1% of what it does today? Maybe a huge space station, or a moon colony, or asteroid mining, or all of the above. The more traffic we have to space, the more infrastructure we build, and the cheaper and more reliable it all gets. Off-world colonies might become about as practical as a trip to and colony in Antarctica is today - still tough and hazardous, but well within the budget and vision of any developed nation. This is freakin' awesome for the future!

paulsutter 16 hours ago 2 replies      
For nostalgia's sake, here's Elon's speech to employees after the first successful launch of Falcon 1 (flight 4), in 2008 at Kwajalein Atoll:


(speech begins at 32:30, in case link doesn't work)

drawkbox 11 hours ago 0 replies      
SpaceX is an amazing company that is moving innovation forward in leaps and bounds. I love this because it does bring people together and gets humans to look up, above problems and fighting and gets us realizing we are in this together.

I still cannot get over the reverse landing on the drone that first time[1] it was almost unreal and took them a while to get there [2]. That image is seared in my brain like the moon landing probably is for people who lived through that.

It was about a year ago and SpaceX is already, in less than a year, performed the reverse landing on the drone and successful relaunched. Amazing moment in human history and SpaceX continues to lead the way.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPGUQySBikQ[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa_mtakPlfw

bambax 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Flight instructors like to share this quote: a good landing is when nobody gets hurt. A very good landing is when you can re-use the plane.

Looks like SpaceX had (yet another) very good landing!!

nradov 15 hours ago 3 replies      
The launch video is amazing! How are they able to get clear video with stable tracking of a rocket >10km away? What sort of lens and camera makes that possible?
blhack 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Technical webcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfNO571C7Ko

Edit: Okay everyone can breathe now!

Taniwha 16 hours ago 2 replies      
So they are supposed to be trying to recover the two fairing halves this time around - any news of that?
jondishotsky 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't ever let anyone tell you that something is impossible.
remarkEon 15 hours ago 2 replies      

Will future SpaceX clients now want to put their payloads in orbit on a "flight proven" booster, instead of one that hasn't flown before?

themgt 16 hours ago 4 replies      
It looked like one of the grid fins got toasted. Will they still be able to stick the landing? fingers crossed

edit: and they did it! I was pessimistic for a minute there!

qaq 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Without SpaceX and Tesla the world would have been really depressing.
mr_overalls 15 hours ago 4 replies      
The obvious question: how much cheaper will a reusable rocket make it, per pound, to put a payload in orbit?
bluecat 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What a fantastic achievement, I'm so happy. I love when a problem solved excites all of humanity.
vtange 16 hours ago 8 replies      
Does SpaceX have any real competitors in the private sector? Would be a bummer if people decided they were a monopoly of some sort and demanded a break up.
narrator 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Makes up for the rocket they lost. Actually, now they're ahead if you count the insurance payout. People should stop saying we need to spend X trillions to get to Mars. They should instead say we can't get to Mars until technology is good enough that it will cost less than X billions or even millions.
aphextron 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Watching the raw video stream today, I couldn't help but feel that we're looking at a quantum leap in rocket technology. The intensity of sound and exhaust from the engines was something I have never seen from a rocket that size before. I'm curious how the specific impulse of the newest Merlin compares to what ULA is using, considering a lot of their stuff is either Russian made or designs from the 60's. It's possible they will not only capture the launch market, but the engine market for other manufacturers as well.
kibwen 16 hours ago 4 replies      
The link is to a livestream and I didn't get here in time to watch the landing live, has a recording of the landing been uploaded anywhere yet?
grondilu 16 hours ago 7 replies      
I've noticed that during the webcast they talked much more about their planetary colonisation project than they usually do. I guess it makes sense since today is the first time they actually implement the re-usability plan they believe is the key to this colonisation.

But frankly, is the cost of going to mars really that important for its colonisation? I mean, I wouldn't move to mars even if going there was free. For one, there's no breathable air, for Pete's sake. They are talking about building a city on a place where there isn't even breathable air. That's insane.

This whole thing is very conflicting to me. On one hand I can appreciate the technological achievement and I acknowledge that re-usability will be extremely useful for space exploration, but on the other hand I can't help thinking that those people who get excited about building a city on mars are completely delusional.

thefalcon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Exciting times. It won't be long until my son is asking me why we used to just drop these things in the ocean after first use.
retrogradeorbit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You didn't actually watch it land.
dougmwne 16 hours ago 0 replies      
History made, their biggest public accomplishment since the first landing!
nialv7 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone noticed that LD said "Go for age of reflight"?
ninjamayo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
They should have had commentary during launch from that guy who made comments during the unveiling of the Mars mission last year. The one who went to Burning Man.
aidos 16 hours ago 1 reply      
They've landed it too! Amazing!
quotemstr 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder whether we'll see a surge in on-orbit assembly if it becomes a lot cheaper to do two payload-X launches on reusable rockets than it is to do one payload-2X launch on an expendable rocket. Previously, economies of scale have tilted design toward the single-2X-launch approach.
firefoxd 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I was very confused by the 'of course i still love you' statements. Until i realized it was the name of the landing platform.
ninjamayo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
YIPPEE!!! That was amazing SpaceX. Thanks Elon!
agumonkey 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny that Space-X made people cheer for reuse.

-- Sent from my 2nd hand ThinkPad

jen729w 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Well it took me about an hour to upvote every comment on this page but it was worth it. ;-)
aeleos 15 hours ago 0 replies      
What a great time to be alive, to be able to witness such revolutions in rocket technology.
wolfram74 16 hours ago 0 replies      
And they stick the landing!
M_Grey 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Whatever you think about Musk, or Mars, this aspect of his business is just amazing. SpaceX is incredibly impressive, and the novel approach to landing and reusability is really moving things forward.
artursapek 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This man inspires me more than anyone else ever has. Historic day.
synaesthesisx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Truly incredible. I applaud the SpaceX team for making history.
SubiculumCode 16 hours ago 0 replies      
quakeguy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
bborud 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Nailed it!
chapati23 16 hours ago 0 replies      
madamelic 16 hours ago 9 replies      
That "live" Elon interview seemed really pre-recorded... Did anyone else get that feeling?
Someone 15 hours ago 7 replies      
I understand the enthusiasm, but I don't see enough hard data to convince me this will be a commercial success.

Looking at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_He..., SpaceX has launched and landed about 10 of these rockets, and has so far reused one. That rocket was first used about a year ago.

Factors that might prevent this from making this economically superior to 'just' ramping up production are:

- the fraction of launches that can be reused.

- the amount of effort needed to prepare a rocket for reuse relative to that needed to produce a new rocket.

They will have been extra cautious this time, but from the above, the answers _could_ be "about 10%" and "almost one year, taking way more effort than building a new one does".

I would think the real answers are a bit better and will get even better over time, but I also don't think they already are at "close to 100%" and "a couple of weeks", because, if they were, I think they would have launched a used rocket earlier. I also am not convinced they can get there.

That's mostly guessing, though, as I'm not a rocket scientist and can't find hard information on this. Does anybody have that?

Tencent buys 5% of Tesla techcrunch.com
605 points by jhartmann  3 days ago   349 comments top 20
dmix 2 days ago 8 replies      
Tesla recently announced they are ramping up their Model 3 production even more than what some people thought was already optimistic numbers: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-27/tesla-mod...

> For Musk to hit all of his targets, Tesla would need to build about 430,000 Model 3s by the end of next year. Thats more than all of the electric cars sold planet-wide last year.

> Even if half of the Model 3 inventory shipped to other countries, 2 U.S. sales under Musks targets would outpace the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C classcombined.

> To sell that many $35,000 sedans in the U.S. would be absolutely unprecedented based on what we know about car markets today and how people spend their dollars, said Salim Morsy, electric car analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It could happen. Im pretty sure it wont.

If they could pull this off this might be a great investment by Tencent.

It's also great for the car industry and environment as well. Especially considering their work on automated driving. If they get that many cars on the road it would give them a ton of data and a big advantage/lead in AI over other companies. But it could also be setting the bar too high and setting them up for failure (even though they might otherwise have nailed targets).

Regardless, as a design fan it would be interesting to see so many Teslas on the road. They are great looking cars.

jpeg_hero 2 days ago 8 replies      
Tesla shorts can't get a break. First a smooth $1B+ capital raise without a stock hiccup and now this.
11thEarlOfMar 2 days ago 1 reply      
I see this move as a blessing for Tesla to gain market share in China. The stock is valued for growth far into the future, and achieving that outcome is really iffy without a robust China market.

[edit] I'm speculating, but I don't think TenCent could have gotten as big as it has without the blessing of the Chinese government. That is the basis for my view.

smaili 2 days ago 5 replies      
> Tencent is a prolific investor. It holds equity in Snap, this years hot tech IPO, among others following an early investment. While that interest in messaging makes sense since Tencents operates Chinas dominant chat app WeChat it isnt immediately clear whether the Tesla investment has strategic undertones.

This was my immediate question as well. Is this purely an investment for its portfolio or is there a strategic element as well? I imagine being able to send/receive messags on WeChat as the beginning of something more.

woodandsteel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I suppose the administration is going to argue this move supports Trump's claim that global climate change is a Chinese plot to undermine the American economy.
vit05 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this showing that they havent found a Chinese company that could compete against tesla? China is investing a lot in Solar energy, batteries and have car companies that want to become global players, and most of Tencent investments are on Chinese companies that make products focused on China and Asian markets. I do not know if they buying in open market tells more about Tesla potential or about China future in cars and energy.


umeshunni 2 days ago 0 replies      
Worth noting that Tencent is also an investor in Future mobility which has been remarkably quiet since their funding announcement last year:https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/future-mobility#/ent...
bigiain 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I first read this, my head saw "Fifty Cent"...

And I thought "A _rapper_ has just bought $1.7billion worth of Tesla shares???" and was all ready to make "Has Tesla already become the Cristal Champagne of car brands?" gags...

Still, half a billion return in two weeks on a 1.7 billion play is pretty nice money...

Markoff 1 day ago 0 replies      
this just shows how distrustful are Chinese about their own currency that they seek any way to store money abroad in safe harbor away from RMB and Chinese government
turingbook 2 days ago 2 replies      
Smart move. Tencent's investing but not controlling strategy make it good supporter of the new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs against AAAAF(Apple Alphabet Amazon Alibaba Facebook):- JD- Didi- Snap- Meituan-Dianping
andy_ppp 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Model 3 will come with full automation and an Uber competitor. Just a guess why they are so confident about hitting their numbers.
Kiro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tencent's reach is mind-boggling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent#Investments
intrasight 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny. Just yesterday I commented on an HN thread that my first electric car would likely be Chinese, but that it might have the "Tesla" name on it.
BlytheSchuma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now I can get free legendary skins with purchase of a model 3? What time to be alive.
icantdrive55 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think they knew solar is the future, all around the world.

China has massive pollution, and most homes/businesses that have access to direct sunlight. (Yes--I know solar works 50% on cloudy day. It doesn't work well with a lot foliage coverage. China looks barren of trees--sadly.)

My hope is those solar tiles come down drastically in price. My hope is the average roof will be cost effective to put said tiles up.

I think those solar tiles will be Tesla's Trump card. It will probally be in four years, or more in the United States. We will need a new president. (I was for Trump putting Coal miners back to work, until I found out the problem is not regulations, but automation. Actually, I want clean air. We need a better way of supporting people affected by the elimination of old ways of doing things; like a Basic Income.). Sorry about being all over the place, but there are no simple answers. Trump is just finding this out.

I think Tencent saw a long value in the stock, even though their citizens will not likely buy Tesla's tiles. They will buy the cheapest knock-off as usual, but the rest of the civilized world will buy Tesla's product.

(I don't know what patents are on these new Tesla tiles, but I bet they are seen as a valuable commodity, even to a cheating society like China.)

camflan 2 days ago 1 reply      
They should've bought 10%...or change their name to Fivecent
Digit-Al 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't they have bought ten(per)cent?
txmx2000 2 days ago 2 replies      
I only need Twocent to know this is a bad idea.
matthewhall 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a bad feeling about this...
ge96 2 days ago 1 reply      
I thought I saw TenCent's name in Kong Skull Island
Stanford Professor Loses Political Battle To Simplify Tax Filing Process npr.org
663 points by dynofuz  1 day ago   375 comments top 31
avar 1 day ago 19 replies      
This whole thread is full of comments from people who obviously haven't read the article / listened to the podcast in question[1].

Joseph Bankman proposed ReadyReturn in California, which is the kind of tax return pretty much the entirety of the rest of the western world uses. I.e. instead of an empty return, it's pre-filled in with the details the government knows anyway. This vastly simplifies things for most people, especially those whose main income comes from working one job.

This was in no way a change to the tax system, or what taxes people had to pay. The government would just hand you a filled-in form instead of an empty one, so you could make corrections instead of filling it in from scratch.

It had north of 99% approval ratings by the people in the test groups for it, something unheard of when it comes to government programs.

As a parlor trick Bankman would carry around a thick binder with the feedback the program had received from taxpayers. When he wanted to convince someone he'd start paging through it and ask the person he was talking to to say "stop", to ensure he wasn't cherry-picking. He'd then start reading raving reviews of the program starting at that page, some in all-caps from people who couldn't contain their excitement.

It didn't make it into law, partly due to lobbying by the likes of Intuit, but more interestingly, I thought, because Grover Norquist, the well known promoter of the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" took the counterintuitive view that just making the process easier equated to a new tax, since taxpayers might end up paying taxes already on the books that they might have previously unintentionally evaded.

That to me is the most bizarre detail about this entire story. It's likely that it would have passed if not for the strange interpretation of one man to this not-a-new-tax of it effectively being a new tax, and his ability to sway the Republicans due to the political power his "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" holds over Republicans.

1. http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/03/22/521132960/episo...

gamblor956 1 day ago 7 replies      
Correction: this proposal would not have simplified taxes (i.e., the California tax code). It would merely have simplified the filing of tax returns for the most common case, salaried workers receiving all of their income from a single source.

Very big difference. HRBlock and Intuit are heavily vested in maintaining the current tax filing system. They are not, however, meaningful players in the attempts to rewrite the tax code.

wkz 1 day ago 3 replies      
I live in Sweden. Just a few days ago I audited and filed my returns for 2016, it took me about 2 minutes.

1. Go to skatteverket.se (IRS), enter your "personnummer" (SSN).

2. Open the BankID app on my phone, which contains an X509 certificate identifing me, issued by my bank. Enter my password to decrypt the cert's private key and sign the authetication ticket from skatteverket.se.

3. Audit my pre-filled returns. Contains all information about income tax, captial gains tax and so on.

4. Press "Sign", enter password in BankID again to sign the returns.

5. Smell the roses.

chiefofgxbxl 1 day ago 7 replies      
Just for thought: suppose the tax system became so simplified that only goods X, Y,and Z were taxed at rates a,b,c. You pay aX+bY+cZ in taxes per year. It would be easy for voters to campaign their politicians to lower tax rates and easily verify.

Obviously in the real world there aren't 3 levers to adjust: there are probably thousands or tens of thousands. Apart from the lobbying, politicians may themselves desire this, because it would allow them to lower those 3 very-public levers to claim they lowered taxes, while at the end of the day maintaining the same level of spending because they just offset those losses over thousands of other levers. After all, things have to get paid for.

Then at least they can tell the public: "Hey, I lowered tax rates." And when the public's wallet doesn't feel the savings, the politician still wins votes because as far as the public can see, they lowered those tax rate levers. Compare that to a politician under the 3-lever system. Either they lowered taxes or they didn't.

What I'm suggesting is that a complex tax system allows politicians to take the heat off themselves when the public demands lowered taxes, while still maintaining the amount of money the government takes in to cover the budget.

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
The currently posted link doesn't have the audio/transcript, but here's a few relevant links from last week:



basseq 1 day ago 3 replies      
I did some work for the IRS several years ago to explore the same idea. There are many benefits, including simplicity and accuracy of filing (closing the $500B tax gap), as well as better fraud protection (another $25B).

Protectionism of the tax return industry is common, but not the primary reason. Instead, the biggest pushback is from taxpayer advocacy groups. The issue is this: for many Americans, particularly low income Americans, their tax refund is the largest check they receive all year. Delaying that refund in order to receive all tax information (e.g., from banks and employers) and pre-populate a tax return would push back initial refund checks by 1-2 months. This is tantamount to political suicide.

bmajz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was pretty surprised to see Zoe Lofgren's name pop up as an anti tax filing simplification advocate. She's the rep from CA's 19th District which covers San Jose (but not the rest of Silicon Valley) and generally a straight down the line liberal. This is not even Intuit's core district -- that would Anna Eshoo's 17th (previously 14th) district which covers Mountain View and Palo Alto. As a resident of this district, I guess I have something to write in about.
noobermin 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm going to say this until I'm blue in the face: fix money in politics, and half of these issues will no longer be intractable.
kwoff 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm an American working in the Netherlands. Filing US taxes has improved, a lot last year in my opinion, since it got easier to file electronically for free... But compare: I got a letter from the Dutch government a few weeks ago saying I don't need to do anything since as far as they can tell my situation hasn't changed since last year. In the US, some people believe that the tax return that they get every year is some kind of bonus. Here, my employer withholds the correct amount. Why is that so hard?
nullnilvoid 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am not surprised at all. Intuit, H&R Block etc. spend much money in D.C. just to keep tax codes complex so that they can sell more copies of tax filing software, at the cost of all tax payers.
tedunangst 1 day ago 1 reply      
Would it have killed them to at least mention his name is Joseph Bankman in the summary?
justabystander 1 day ago 1 reply      
Honestly, I think it'd be better to start a non-profit that releases tax software, first. It could compete with tax software, like from Intuit & H&R Block, as most of the needed services are rather simple. It would either charge just enough to cover costs, or be completely free, if donations for the year was sufficient. The tax software support could be done on a contract basis, where people certified people could login and handle queries on an hourly rate. The work from home crowd would love it.

Build it out enough, and then push a few legislative mandates:

1. All taxes have to be easily payable in tax software.

2. All taxes have to be payable online.

3. Every tax jurisdiction has to offer a tax estimation service, where they can download pre-calculated data to use in tax software.

Should make predatory companies like Intuit disappear in less than a decade.

lazyant 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Sending taxes in the US by mail was unnerving for me, I don't know if things have changed but basically you put the envelope in the mail box and then .. you don't know, no receipt from the IRS, nothing. What happens if the envelope is lost? In all the countries I've lived you submit your taxes and you get and instant receipt or acknowledgement.
riemannzeta 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wish there were more information about what, specifically, the pilot program included. The main detail I got from the story is that the tax returns were pre-filled with income information.

I think that's useful, but I see no reason to expect a priori that the government would end up doing a better job with that than the private companies (like Intuit and H&R Block) whose revenue depends on doing that well.

The comments that suggest that Intuit and H&R Block were lobbying to keep the tax code complex don't make sense to me. Maybe they are, but that's not what they were lobbying for in lobbying to defeat this particular, reform is it? Rather, they were lobbying to keep the pre-filling process private.

Or did I miss something important?

whyenot 1 day ago 2 replies      
California has the initiative system that means ultimately the voters can make changes to the system without involving a recalcitrant or corrupt legislature. For better or worse, many of the big changes in government in the state were enacted through this process. For example, proposition 13, which drastically changed property taxes, proposition 14, which moved the state to a "top two" primary system, proposition 11 and 20, which changed redistricting and made it less partisan. etc. etc. Moreover the side with more money for advertising doesn't always win these proposition elections.
lend000 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find it troubling how many commenters here are so passive to automatic, mandatory payroll tax deductions, that they overlook how effective those payroll tax deductions actually are (and how Norquist is right, if for the wrong reasons).

Yes, government payroll deductions are convenient. Yes, all other things being the same, they make your average salaried worker's life easier. And yes, they absolutely mask how much you are paying in taxes, by softening the psychological impact of making an annual tax payment with money you earned, instead slowly pilfering the money from each paycheck. Most importantly, it ensures you never get to see that portion of the money you earned in the first place -- it doesn't hurt as bad to lose something you never really had.

I personally think this should have passed -- if nothing else, to force the IRS to reveal all the information it really has on you. However, the opposing argument has a point that shouldn't be dismissed as completely ridiculous, because a pretty indisputable side effect would be more apathy regarding taxes, which is not a good thing.

koliber 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am impressed that it only took $35,000 to get lobbyist help to get this law proposal that far.

There's a lot of talk here about efficiency and many efforts to strive for it. What would it take to raise 10x that much and provide Prof. Bankman with a war chest that stands a good chance of succeeding?

JDiculous 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is infuriating because the simplified tax system is objectively superior. Any Congressperson who voted against this was either 1. stupid or misinformed 2. bought out by Intuit.

It seems to me that the only way to mitigate the effect of lobbying, aka legalized bribery, is to publicly call out the politicians who sell out.

Is there a list of representatives who voted against this bill?

arikr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like a good opportunity for a crowdfunding campaign.
ryandrake 1 day ago 3 replies      
The problem I have with the popular "simplify" US tax proposals is that they mostly do it by repealing whole sections of the tax code, ending up super regressive and/or hurting the poor and middle class and helping the already rich.

Flat tax @ a high rate: Neutral or slightly helpful to the rich, crushing to the poor and middle class

Flat tax @ a low rate: Windfall to the rich, the resulting gutting of government programs hurt the poor and middle class

Eliminate taxes on dividends: Windfall to the rich, neutral to the poor and middle class who don't benefit from dividends

Eliminate many deductions and loopholes and reduce top tax rate (one of Trump's proposals): Rich are likely better off, no help to the poor and middle class

Reform AMT: Helpful to the rich and people with stock options, no effect for the poor and middle class

Eliminate income phaseouts: Helpful to the rich, no help to the poor and middle class

Eliminate estate or gift taxes: Helpful to the rich, no help to the poor and middle class

Eliminate income tax in favor of sales tax or VAT: Windfall to the rich, crushing to the poor, probably negative for the middle class

The ability to file your taxes on a postcard isn't worth it if it means advantaging the already advantaged.

thebrettd 1 day ago 2 replies      
I love this idea in theory, and basically revisit it every year during tax season.

The tax/tax prep lobby is strong, and perhaps needfully so, as a whole bunch of people have their livelihoods wrapped up in it, butI often wonder if that whole industry is not actually a net negative for the economy.

edit: How do we help this idea take flight?

shmerl 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't see the article, but I suppose it mentions, that Intuit and Co. bribed officials to oppose this idea.
dhimes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trump promised to make taxes much simpler. Let's see if he keeps his promise.
rb666 1 day ago 0 replies      
The US oligarchy strikes again, even in California, crazy. It works in almost all Western countries. Filing my taxes takes about 15mins each year.
thinkloop 1 day ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to know each legislator's reasoning. Maybe there's something real in the againsts, or at least makes it more difficult to take a flakey position. Statements should have to come with votes.
Y_Y 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if it would be ok for the IRS to charge for this service. Maybe then it would be justifiable to the Republicans who oppose on the basis that it would make raising takes easier.
oDot 1 day ago 8 replies      
I've always wondered, why can't we just pay one tax? Say make income tax 1.5x what it's now and cancel all other taxes. That way it'll be even easier!
hundt 1 day ago 1 reply      
FWIW, here's an email I sent to Prof. Bankman last April:


I read with interest your letter about the Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016, and your article "Simple Filing for Average Citizens: The California ReadyReturn." I agree that the tax filing burden on taxpayers is far too high, and I am encouraged that legislators are trying to do something about it.

But I am concerned about the details of actually accomplishing this given the complexity of the federal tax code, even for what appear to be "simple" situations. For the past five years I have volunteered with the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and helped low-to-moderate income taxpayers file their taxes. One of the first things I learned was how frequently a taxpayer's total tax is affected by factors other than what is on their W-2 or otherwise reported to the IRS. Examples include:

- complex calculations of "support" to determine whether a live-in relative is a dependent

- exact payments, and nature of payments, made to schools (generally not accurately reported on the 1098-T)

- business expenses

- which months the taxpayer had health insurance (often not reported correctly, or reported to a different person) and, if no insurance, whether an exception to the penalty applies

- what portion of the property taxes paid by the mortgage company on behalf of the taxpayer was for ad valorem taxes (the only kind that is deductible)

- what gambling losses are there to offset the gain reported on a W-2G?

- [litany of qualification questions for various education benefits]

- which exceptions apply to an early distribution from a 401(k)

Although each of these individually sounds like a corner case, my experience is that in aggregate a large percentage (perhaps more than half?) of the tax returns involved information that the IRS has no way of knowing.

So for advocates of IRS-prepared returns, of which I understand you to be one, I wonder what the response to these issues is? I can think of three:

1. The IRS should assume whatever results in the maximum tax liability, and it is up to the taxpayer to determine whether they can reduce their liability further.

2. The IRS should guess based on some combination of factors, and the taxpayer is responsible for verifying the guess (and is assessed penalties if they don't fix an incorrect guess?).

3. We should drastically simplify the tax code so these issues go away.

Each response has some obvious problems.

Anyway, this is just something that has been on my mind, so I hope you don't mind this email out of the blue to try to solicit feedback from someone who might have given the issue some thought.


He never responded, so I am still left wondering the same questions.

Akujin 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is why I pirate Turbotax every year.

Fuck Intuit. Fuck H&R Block.

I'll give them money over my dead body.

mtgx 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Joe, though, discovered that Intuit had been very busy lobbying against ReadyReturn - meeting with lawmakers, giving money.

How the hell do Americans not think that this is BRIBERY? Are you kidding me? It's one thing to "talk" to politicians, it's another to tell them to vote a certain way and then giving them money". For crying out loud. Sometimes the U.S. can be really backwards* compared to other modern societies.

partycoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are a foreigner, you are most likely not complying with the tax code unless you hired a competent CPA. TurboTax won't do.
Many famous scientists have something in common: they didnt work long hours nautil.us
552 points by dnetesn  1 day ago   285 comments top 58
unabst 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I suspect if you counted the hours they were thinking about their work, the conclusion would be the exact opposite.

Granted, we are talking about "thinkers" here. We can think sitting on the toilet or taking a shower, and maybe even better than staring at a book.

Walking to get your juices flowing surrounded by clean air and a soothing environment would make any hiking trail a great office for any scientist or philosopher.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. "

Albert Einstein

"Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say, 'How did he do it? He must be a genius!"

- Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts

YCode 1 day ago 12 replies      
> Scientists who spent 25 hours in the workplace were no more productive than those who spent five.

Anecdotally this is a concept I've run into in many areas of life, the most overt one being school, I suppose because it's so easily quantified.

You can do a moderately acceptable amount of work on any given assignment and get a C+, work hard for a B/A or work your hands to the bone for an A+, but at the end of the day all three students graduate.

At a certain point you get diminishing returns for working harder. On the flip side being able to be productive for those few hours consistently without burning out nets you long term growth.

DannyB2 1 day ago 6 replies      
If their job was, say, picking cotton, then the hours they spent at work would directly correlate to their work output.

So what is the difference?

Maybe scientists are still thinking about difficult problems when they are away from work. Like when they are sitting in their porch swing with nobody else around to distract.

cocktailpeanuts 21 hours ago 24 replies      
They take a very constrained example and claim that "You should be a slacker too".

This is at best an irresponsible piece of writing that's clearly targeting discussions like what's happening here. This is the 1000th time I've seen a post on this topic on HN, and every time it's posted here it's like groundhog day, same comments. Well this is what publications like these want, they want more traffic.

There are many famous athletes who worked long hours. Ask Michael Jordan.

There are many famous entrepreneurs (actually I don't know of a single extremely successful entrepreneur who didn't work extremely hard) who worked long hours. Ask Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and really any successful entrepreneur who's changed how the world works.

Just don't ask some nobody writer who writes for a blog who just needs to get more page views. They don't know what they are talking about.

In fact, you know what? MOST successful people work very hard. Surprising right? Duh.

It's your freedom to choose how to live your life, but don't tell others what to do based on your idiotic research clearly aimed at generating page views. That's irresponsible.

Also, if you want to succeed, don't listen to these idiots. Statistically those who work harder succeed more. Period.

That said, if your life goal is NOT about being successful but more about living a balanced life with happiness, then go live your life whatever way you want. In fact that's how 99% of the world live their lives.

But again, if you want to have huge success and achieve more than you ever wanted in life, work hard. Don't let these people ruin your life. You will really regret later.

raygelogic 21 hours ago 0 replies      
this is such a typical HN discussion; misleading headline provokes reaction to the headline rather than the content of the article. nowhere in the article are entrepreneurs discussed, or doctors, or anyone else whose work requires many hours of clocked-in work.

the fundamental claim of the article is that deliberate focus in a creative field cannot happen without deliberate rest. you can't always be on if you want to achieve the types of breakthroughs which underpin the most significant steps forward in science, literature, and music.

that's it. he never discussed Gates' work habits, except in context with Gladwell's 10k hours for expertise thesis. he then goes on to say that those 10k hours do not exist in a vacuum, and that this number is often misinterpreted; those 10k hours of focus also require a commensurate amount of leisure and rest.

he even specifically says that "[scientists'] legacies are often easier to determine than those of business leaders or famous figures", which to me says that those individuals are outside the scope of his discussion. how so many people here are projecting that conclusion is a mystery to me.

whistlerbrk 1 day ago 6 replies      
And then on the flipside there is Musk, Jobs, Gates and countless others who work(ed) all the time.

All I'm saying is I see a lot of emulation-of-success articles posted here...

j7ake 1 day ago 4 replies      
Richard Hammings anecdotes of famous scientists would suggest otherwise... They may not look like they were working but They were always thinking on their problem. Working on a problem doesn't need to be done sitting in your desk but it can be done while on hikes with your colleagues or locked in the attic of your room.

Their minds were constantly thinking of their problems.

brlewis 1 day ago 2 replies      
After that, it was all downhill: The 60-plus-hour-a-week researchers were the least productive of all.

Could causality be in the other direction? Researchers who aren't getting publication-worthy results spend more time in the lab desperately trying?

jordanmoconnor 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm just spitballing my opinion here.

One of my favorite quotes is: "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years." - Bill Gates

Working long hard inefficient hours might get you short term gains, but consistent effective work over years will bring long-term success.

Typically (for me) putting short time constraints on projects amplifies my focus and cuts down on wasted time. The best way to cut down time is to have a well planned path of execution (know what you're doing before you sit down and don't do anything else).

That's how you can be successful without necessarily working long hours.

I'm not successful in terms of my own standards, but I think this makes sense.

finid 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking. Their creativity and productivity, in other words, were not the result of endless hours of toil. Their towering creative achievements result from modest working hours.

If Darwin spent most of his time "hiking mountains... or just sitting and thinking", guess what he was actually doing? Yep, he was studying, and working. Just because he was not hunched over a table or a microscope does not mean he was not studying.

ljw1001 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I will add a personal anecdote from software development. On one project I had a difficult objective (to write a database that met certain criteria). I had never done database work before.

For the first year, I worked with almost no supervision and developed a routine where I would select an area to work on, give it a week, and if I could find no good solution, would switch to something else. All the while I read many related technical papers. Often after a couple weeks of "not working on the problem" I would think of a clean solution and implement it fairly quickly.

After that year, I got a new boss who insisted that I schedule my work using agile techniques, which meant that when I started something I had to focus on it until it was delivered, while trying to meet my estimates, planned to at most a two-day delivery cycle.

My productivity in the second year was terrible and much of the coding I did then sucked, as it was full of hacks designed to make my first, sloppy approach work quickly.

For me, downtime, and reading papers that were indirectly related to my problem area, vastly increased the quality and quantity of work done.

anoplus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am quite interested in "how" the working hours are spent, rather than how many. Personally, it's when I forget about time, that I am more efficient, engaged and satisfied. Today I cleaned my house for 5 hours and almost forgot it suppose to be daunting.

Did the same trick, imagining I have plenty of time. Just taking my time...

importantbrian 22 hours ago 2 replies      
There was a poll on HN a couple of years ago that asked how many productive hours each reader had in a given day, and if I remember correctly there was a large plurality that picked 4-6 and a rather large group that picked 2-4. Which seems to square fairly well with my personal experience and that of the scientists in the piece. I often wonder how much actual work people who spend 80 hours in the office are actually getting done.
jfv 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Maybe I missed it in this story, but this anecdote about Poincare himself is apropos:

"The famous French mathematician Henri Poincar was very interested in mathematical creativity. He describes a period of hard and seemingly fruitless effort to solve a problem, from which he took a break to join a geological expedition. As he was stepping on a bus, he made one of the most important breakthroughs of his life. The solution came to him out of nowhere, and was accompanied by a perfect certainty as to its correctness"

(from this blog: https://kjosic.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/creativity-and-waste...)

inputcoffee 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am as happy as the next person to accept that you can work less and achieve more.

Ordinarily, I would protest that there is no data here, just some anecdotes.

But in this case, I say, let's just accept this claim at face value.

prginthebox 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What a load of bullshit. Most of the scientists have spent a long time actually working, especially in the modern era. None of the successful physicist/mathematicians of those whom I have seen slackers. Each one of them (without exception) have worked extremely hard. Also, more importantly, I have seen level insight into solving difficult problems being directly and causally proportional to the amount of work people have put in trying stuff that hasn't worked till now.
tzs 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Note that work hours mostly means hours spent at one's job site (e.g., at their university in the case of an academic scientist).

My experience observing people when I was at Caltech, and observing a few top software and hardware engineers in industry, is that the most productive people do work the way Bruce Banner handled anger in the Marvel movie "The Avengers":

Steve Rogers: Doctor Banner, now might be a good time for you to get angry.

Bruce Banner: That's my secret, Captain. I'm always angry.

SmellTheGlove 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this:


I know it's The Onion, but irony being that Roy Halladay probably worked harder than any other pitcher in the same span. Natural talent still helps, though!

jorasta 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Darwin was thinking during his walks. During his writing tasks much of the activity was mechanical or the consolidation of notions arrived at during leisure. What society regards as 'work' largely comprises the application of existing knowledge and the running of errands.

>He was passionate and driven, so much so that he was given to anxiety attacks over his ideas and their implications.

Emotions driving emotions? No, he was right to be anxious about the consequences of his work. Though marvellous and important and interesting, not to mention true, it set up a huge conflict in the psyche of the West due to the competing claims of science and religion. Which still hasn't been resolved.

raz32dust 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on whether whatever you are doing is something with a finite goal and has clear steps (e.g, deliver a prototype, complete testing, complete a presentation, prepare for a test etc.) or something that is more exploratory and you are not really sure what you are looking for. Most of the work we do is of the first kind. In that case, the amount of work accomplished is directly proportional to time spent*focus. For the second type of work, there is no correlation. You just have to train your neurons to try all combinations until something clicks. People who are not doing research or art (i.e, most of us, despite what we'd like to believe) can and will see more results if they spend more time. You need to be able to recognize whether you are doing type 1 or type 2 work and plan accordingly. Time and focus is not going to help in type 2 work beyond a minimum. If you are doing type 1 work and stretching yourself, recognize the trade-offs you are making and don't burn out.
cocktailpeanuts 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Since so many people here are talking about how "in science it's different, you need to just chill out. Science is all about creativity and you shouldn't work hard if you're in a "creative business"", let me just leave this link here: https://terrytao.wordpress.com/career-advice/work-hard/

If one of the best mathematicians of our time is saying "Work hard", it probably means more than some rando who writes for some blog.

If you want to just "chill out" and live a fun life, feel free to do so, the world would suck if everybody worked hard. It's actually great that you guys decide to believe working less is good for achieving what you want, because the ones who actually know what's up have higher chance of success.

Lagged2Death 21 hours ago 0 replies      
[Darwin] was passionate and driven, so much so that he was given to anxiety attacks over his ideas and their implications.

He many not have spent that many hours sitting at a desk, but he had to be directing a tremendous amount of mental effort and attention to his work to have this sort of reaction. The article describes his not-sitting-at-a-desk time as "downtime," and maybe that's half-defensible. But that "downtime" probably isn't something I'd recognize as leisure time, either.

Here's something else that many successful 19th/20th century artists, scholars, writers, and scientists turn out to have had in common, the other side of the same coin, perhaps: sufficient economic prosperity (often familial) to employ servants. They could devote great swaths of time and attention to their work, even when away from a desk, because they were not fretting about the grocery shopping, not wondering if they should be pushing the kids harder on their ABCs, etc.

The class structure and sexism that made such arrangements common also surely squandered enormous amounts of human potential.

nerfhammer 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet famous scientists spend almost every waking hour actively thinking about their subject of study, even if they're not necessarily sitting around pushing a pencil at their desk.
overgard 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Mixed feelings on this -- I don't think sitting at a desk for 12 hours is useful for anything other than social signalling, but, there's a Stephen King quote I love: "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work." Sometimes you just have to grind. Some of my most productive days have been when I really really didn't want to work, but I had to, and somehow the inspiration came out of that.
bencollier49 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is stupid. The article completely misinterprets its source evidence:

Darwin, from the article:

8am - 12pm: Work;1pm - 3pm: Work; 4pm - 5.30pm: Work

That's a 7.5 hour, day which is pretty standard in the UK at the moment. The fact that he fitted a one-hour walk into his lunch break doesn't make him a slacker, and neither does the fact that some of that work happened to involve answering letters in an aviary.

misja111 1 day ago 0 replies      
They also didn't have iPhones or televisions.
merraksh 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the maximum aspiration of any scientist is to be famous, or even "successful", for whatever definition of success is out there.

I would imagine a scientist as someone who wants to make a positive impact on the life of his fellow human beings by investigating a field of science, or maybe is just curious about said field and just works to find out what intrigues her.

Whether she becomes famous in the act is only a side effect, and maybe not even a necessary condition to fulfill her desire. I have the impression that just aspiring to fame is not conducive to "good" science.

This said, I'd like to see articles comparing the working days of people who accomplish something important in science, regardless of their fame (or lack thereof).

itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Evan Robinson has collected a whole bunch of evidence that long hours don't result in greater output (http://www.igda.org/?page=crunchsixlessons). This has been known for something like a century at this point.
martingoodson 17 hours ago 0 replies      
As a counterexample, Hans Geiger was a workaholic. Rutherford said he "works like a slave [He] is a demon at the work and could count at intervals for a whole night without disturbing his equanimity" [1]

He eventually discovered the atomic nucleus, so I guess it paid off.

[1] http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/science-and-technology/ph...

DrNuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am not Einstein but in my 40s and definitely doing a lot with my time: on one side it was hard commitment and fierce hustling for 15-20 years in the past, on the other side hustling increases efficiency and high-level productivity dramatically, so that I can now do a lot (and well conceived / designed) in a very short time. Low-level implementation is invariantly slower though, be it by yourself or delegating. As an analogy with more talented people, I suspect scientists finding their Eureka! moments easier worked very hard for a long period in their past.
loup-vaillant 17 hours ago 0 replies      
That seems to be in direct contradiction with what Hamming said on the matter: http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/YouAndYourResearch.html

Maybe some people thrive by slacking, and others by working their ass off?

laurentdc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yet Another Article With Initial Caps Telling Me How To Live My Life
samirillian 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Poincare is an interesting example, because he seemed to have a process of rotating between subjects of thought.

I am also reminded of Guy Debord, who espoused the implicitly Marxist dictum, "to never work."

JeffR1992 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This article resonates with me in so many ways. I barely managed to get into any university in my home country, but once I was accepted to one, I set up a strict and timed schedule of 5 hours of concentrated work each day, outside of classes and other mandatory requirements, and left each evening for recovery. A few years later the structured work payed off and I am now completing grad school at Stanford. I honestly thought I would be working in a video rental store in my tiny hometown for the rest of my life. Let's home the structured approach continues to help into the future.
AngeloAnolin 19 hours ago 0 replies      
"The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking"

I think in most likelihood that the creative mindset of these people ticked when they were doing these stuff, hence, once they get back to work, their focus is so sharp and intent on finishing.

femto 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The thing I want to know is how did they achieve the independence, whereby they could focus on their problem of choice and not have to continuously context switch to problems of other people's choosing?
linkmotif 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm just going to drop this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10882202

You can listen to the guy who wrote this article. Or you can listen to John Carmack. 0_0.

supergeek133 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is being at work for long hours and actually being productive during that time. They are different things.

There are still many jobs and/or management mentalities that see "butt in seat" as productive time. Especially in "brain labor" jobs versus physical labor jobs where your time working is inherently productive.

pebblexe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The best book I know about research is "Apprentice to Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty":


It's a fantastic book.

adarsh_p 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This may have been true during Darwin's time, but it simply does not apply in today'a academic world. The level of competition for grants, publications, etc. is way, way higher than before. Not that I've conducted a survey, but I'm pretty sure every professor at an R1 university works at least 60 hours a week, if not more.

Source: Am finishing up my PhD in theoretical high energy physics.

kensai 22 hours ago 0 replies      
OK, forwarded this to my PI... will let you know tomorrow. :D
coss 21 hours ago 0 replies      
No desire to be famous but I can't see myself getting to where I am without working hard. I'm just not smart enough.
z3t4 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your subconscious grinds away, even when you do not work. Then you see or hear something, a final piece in a puzzle, and an idea is born!
officelineback 1 day ago 0 replies      
One point about these guys is they were men of means. They were hyper-rich for the time, had vast properties and many servants and such.
intrasight 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe they are famous due to serendipity and luck. I don't believe there is a correlation between long hours and luck.
jackhammer2022 1 day ago 1 reply      
So Survivorship Bias in play in this article?
Safety1stClyde 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this article really worthy of so many votes?
schintan 21 hours ago 0 replies      
They also had another thing in common; they didn't care much about money
paulcole 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Roger Bannister found time to break the 4 minute mile while in med school!
plg 19 hours ago 0 replies      
logical fallacy

- these people are famous/successful

- they also have characteristic X

- therefore if I want to be famous/successful I should aspire to characteristic X

it's a logical fallacy

jhonatan08 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Another something in common: they are famous.
blizkreeg 21 hours ago 0 replies      
What did Darwin do to pay his bills?
kamaal 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Teslas and Edisons did insane work hours most people would consider suicide these days.

In my experience these are largely a function of volume, quantity and relationship with your work. Most managers I know can get by even 2-3 hours of work/day. This is true because the work is largely meta- Delegating, tracking things et al.

If you are involved in your work at a lot more micro level, then the speed of the project is the function of your involvement with the project.

This fantasy of achieving extra ordinary things doing just 5 hours of work/day is largely a millennial thing. As a Indian millennial myself, I find this attitude sick. Our fathers used to largely look these things as 'opportunity'.

mythrwy 1 day ago 1 reply      
The guys on the article were walking about on huge familial estates and had servants.

I on the other hand have a mortgage to pay.

Out of the box creative thinking as the result of leisure is great. Sometimes it pays off. More often it doesn't. Sadly most of us don't have the luxury of finding out. At least for now.

CamperBob2 18 hours ago 0 replies      
That's because a lot of people we think of as famous scientists were really politicians. Rest assured the people who did the actual research weren't working 40-hour weeks.
lkrubner 22 hours ago 0 replies      
" or just sitting and thinking. "

Put another way, these people worked long hours, so long as you recognize what kind of work they were doing. I mean, they were not shoveling coal. I think humans have some bias such that we don't recognize thinking hard as hard work.

mannykannot 1 day ago 1 reply      
The title is misleading - Darwin was pretty much always 'on the job', as we can see from his notes and correspondence.
itisalex 13 hours ago 0 replies      
So much of our "work" these days are only paid by the works ur in the office, where as most of the answers come to us at other hours of the day. Number of times I've emailed code snips to work....
Containers vs. Zones vs. Jails vs. VMs jessfraz.com
705 points by adamnemecek  2 days ago   230 comments top 38
floatboth 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jails are actually very similar to Linux namespaces / unshare. Much more similar than most people in this thread think.

There's one difference though:

In namespaces, you start with no isolation, from zero, and you add whatever you want mount, PID, network, hostname, user, IPC namespaces.

In jails, you start with a reasonable secure baseline processes, users, POSIX IPC and mounts are always isolated. But! You can isolate the filesystem root or not (by specifying /). You can keep the host networking or restrict IP addresses or create a virtual interface. You can isolate SysV IPC (yay postgres!) or keep the host IPC namespace, or ban IPC outright. See? The interesting parts are still flexible! Okay, not as flexible as "sharing PIDs with one jail and IPC with another", but still.

So unlike namespaces, where user isolation is done with weird UID mapping ("uid 1 in the container is uid 1000001 outside") and PID isolation I don't even know how, jails are at their core just one more column in the process table. PID, UID, and now JID (Jail ID). (The host is JID 0.) No need for weird mappings, the system just takes JID into account when answering system calls.

By the way, you definitely can run X11 apps in a jail :) Even with hardware accelerated graphics (just allow /dev/dri in your devfs ruleset).

P.S. one area where Linux did something years before FreeBSD is resource accounting and limits (cgroups). FreeBSD's answer is simple and pleasant to use though: https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?rctl

deathanatos 2 days ago 5 replies      
While I'm not sure I agree entirely with the "Complexity == Bugs" section, the main point, that containers are first-class citizens but a (useful) combination of independent mechanisms is spot-on. This has real repercussions: most people I've spoken do don't know these things exist. They know containers do, they have a very vague idea what containers are, but they have no fundamental understanding of the underlying concepts. (And who can blame them? Really, it was marketed that way.)

For example, pid_namespaces, and subreapers are an awesome feature, and are extremely handy if you have a daemon that needs to keep track of a set of child jobs that may or may not be well behaved. pid_namespaces ensure that if something bad happens to the parent, the children are terminated; they don't ignorantly continue executing after being reparented to init. Subreapers (if a parent dies, reparent the children to this process, not init) solve the problem of grandchildren getting orphaned to init if the parent dies. Both excellent features for managing subtrees of processes, which is why they're useful for containers. Just not only containers.

But developers aren't going to take advantage of syscalls they have no idea that they exist, of course.

although I wish someone could tell me why pid_namespaces are root-only: what's the security risk of allowing unprivileged users to create pid_namespaces?

dreamcompiler 2 days ago 13 replies      
Ignorance admission time: I still have no idea what problem containers are supposed to solve. I understand VMs. I understand chroot. I understand SELinux. Hell, I even understand monads a little bit. But I have no idea what containers do or why I should care. And I've tried.
nisa 2 days ago 3 replies      
As a lowly user: linux containers are more like gaffer tape around namespaces and cgroups than something like lego. You want real memory usage in your cgroup? let's mount some fuse filesystem: https://github.com/lxc/lxcfs - https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-4781...

We have to gaffer tape with AppArmor and SELinux to fix all the holes the kernel doesn't care about: https://github.com/lxc/lxc/blob/master/config/apparmor/conta...

Solaris Zones are more designed and an evolution from FreeBSD Jails. Okay, the military likely paid for that: https://blogs.oracle.com/darren/entry/overview_of_solaris_ke...

Maybe it's Deathstar vs. Lego. But I assume you can survive a lot longer in a Deathstar in vacuum than in your Lego spaceship hardened by gaffa tape.

1: I have uttermost respect for anyone working on this stuff. No offense, but as a user sometimes a lack of design and implementation of bigger concepts (not as in more code, but better design, more secure) in the Linux world is sad. It's probably the only way to move forward but you could read on @grsecurity Twitter years ago that this idea is going to be a fun ride full of security bugs. There might be a better way?

lloydde 2 days ago 2 replies      
It feels like Ms Frazelle's essay ends abruptly. I was looking forward to the other use cases of non-Linux containers.

I think most people are considering these OS-level virtualization systems for the same or or very similar use cases: familiar, scalable, performant and maintainable general purpose computing. Linux containers win because Linux won. Linux didn't have to be designed for OS virt. People have been patient as long as they've continued to see progress -- and be able to rely on hardware virt. Containers are a great example of where even with all of the diverse stakeholders of Linux, the community continues to be adaptive and create a better and better system at a consistent pace in and around the kernel.

That my $job - 2, Joyent, re-booted Lx-branded zones to make Linux applications run on illumos (descendent of OpenSolaris) is more than a "can't beat them join them strategy" as it allows their Triton (OSS) users full access, not only to Linux API and toolchains, but to the Docker APIs and image ecosystem and has been an environment for their own continued participation in micro services evolution.

Although Joyent adds an additional flavor, it targets the same scalable, performant and maintainable cloud/IaaS/PaaS-ish use case. In hindsight, it's crazy that I worked at three companies in a row in this space, Piston Cloud, Joyent, Apcera, and each time I didn't think I'd be competing against my former company, but each time the business models as a result of the ecosystems shifted. Thankfully with $job I'm now a consumer of all of the awesome innovations in this space.

nikcub 2 days ago 2 replies      
Its probably a good time to stop using containers to mean LXC considering the new OCI runc specs containers on Solaris using Zones and Windows using Hyper-V:


cperciva 2 days ago 3 replies      
The meme image ("Can't have 0days or bugs... if I don't write any code") is incorrect.

You can't have bugs if you don't have any code, but not writing code just means that your bugs are guaranteed to be someone else's bugs. Now, this may be a good thing -- other people's code has probably been reviewed more closely than yours, for one thing -- but using other people's code doesn't make you invulnerable, and other people's code often doesn't necessarily match your precise requirements.

If you have a choice between writing 10 lines of code or reusing 100,000 lines of someone else's code, unless you're a truly awful coder you'll end up with fewer bugs if you take the "10 lines of code" option.

throw2016 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a sad reflection of a technical community when 3 years later many do not seem to still clearly understand the bare basics of how containers work. HN has been complicit in massively hyping containers without a corresponding understanding of how containers work outside the context of docker.

How many container users understand namespaces and how easy it is to launch a process in its own namespace, both as root and non root users? Or know overlay file systems and how they work. Or linux basics like bind mounts, and networking.

The docker team leveraged LXC to grow from its tooling to container images but didn't shy from rubbishing it and misleading users on what it is. LXC was presented as 'some low level kernel layer' when it has always been a front end manager for containers like Docker, the only difference is LXC launches a process manager in the container and Docker doesn't. Just clearly articulating this in the beginning would have led to a much better understanding of containers and Docker itself among users and the wider community.

How many docker users know the authors of aufs and overlayfs? The hype is so intense around the front end tools that few know or care to know the underlying tools. This has led to a complete lack of understanding of how things work and an unhealthy ecosystem as critical back end tools do not get funding and recognition, with the focus solely on front ends as they 'wrap' projects, make things more complex and build walls to justify their value. Launch 5000 nodes and 500000 containers. How many users need this?

And this complexity has a huge cost and technical debt, when you are scaling as many stories here itself report and when you are trying to figure out the ecosystem so much so that its now at risk of putting people off containers.

A stateless PAAS has never been the general use case, its a single use case pushed as a generic solution because that's Docker's origin as a PAAS provider. The whole problem with scaling for the vast majority is managing state. Running stateless containers or instances does not even begin to solve that in any remote way. Yes, it sounds good to launch 5000 stateless instances but how is it useful? Without state scaling has never been a problem. A few bash scripts which is what Dockerfiles are will do it. But now because of hype around Docker and Kubernetes users must deal with needless complexity around basic process management, networking, storage and re-architect their stack to make it stateless, without any tools to manage state. Congratulations on becoming a PAAS provider.

jo909 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's important to realize that the reduced isolation of containers can also have pretty significant upsides.

For example monitoring the host and all running containers and all future containers only means running one extra (privileged) container on each host. I don't need to modify the host itself, or any of the other containers, and no matter who builds the containers my monitoring will always work the same.

The same goes for logging. Mainly there is an agreed-upon standard that containers should just log to stdout/stderr, which makes it very flexible to process the logs however you want on the host. But also if your application uses a log file somewhere inside the container, I can start another container (often called "sidecar") with my tools that can have access to that file and pipe it into my logging infrastructure.

If I want multiple containers can share the same network namespace. So I listen on "localhost:8080" in one container, and connect to "localhost:8080" in another, and that just works without any overhead. I can share socket files just the same.

I can run one (privileged) container on each host that starts more containers and bootstraps f.e. a whole kubernetes cluster with many more components.

You can save yourself much "infrastructure" stuff with containers, because the host provides them or they are done conceptually different. For example ntp, ssh, cron, syslog, monitoring, configuration management, security updates, dhcp/dns, network access to internal or external services like package repositories.

My main point is that by embracing what containers are and using that to your advantage, you gain much more than by just viewing them as lightweight virtualisation with lower overhead and a nicer image distribution.

Edit: I want to add that not all of that is necessarily exclusive to containers or mandatory. For example throwing away the whole VM and booting a new one for rolling updates is done a lot, but with containers it became a very integral and universally accepted standard workflow and way of thinking, and you will get looked at funny if you DON'T do it that way.

tannhaeuser 2 days ago 0 replies      
A couple of observations from someone not-so-familiar with containers:

If the consensus is that containers for the most part are just a way to ship and manage packages along with their dependencies to ease library and host OS dependencies, I'm missing a discussion about container runtimes themselves being a dependency. For example, Docker has a quarterly release cadence I believe. So when your goal was to become independent of OS and library versions, you're now dependent on Docker versions, aren't you? If your goal as IT manager is to reduce long-term maintainance cost and have the result of an internally developed project run on Docker without having to do a deep dive into the project long after the project has been completed, then you may find yourself still not being able to run older Docker images because the host OS/kernel and Docker has evolved since the project was completed. If that's the case, the dependency isolation that Docker provides might prove insufficient for this use case.

Another point: if your goal is to leverage the Docker ecosystem to ultimately save ops costs, managing Docker image landscapes with eg. kubernetes (or to a lesser degree Mesos) might prove extremely costly after all since these setups can turn out to be extremely complex, and absolutely require expert knowledge in container tech across your ops staff, and are also evolving quickly at the same time.

Another problem and weak point of Docker might be identity management for internally used apps; eg. containers don't isolate Unix/Linux user/group IDs and permissions, but take away resolution mechanisms like (in the simplest case) /etc/password and /etc/group or PAM/LDAP. Hence you routinely need complex replacements for it, adding to the previous point.

arca_vorago 2 days ago 2 replies      
As a sysadmin I just want to point out to this mostly dev crowd, that my current favorite method of operations is to have multiple compartmentalized VM's which then may or may not hold containers or jails.

Why do I do it this way? Because having a full stack VM for each use-case on a good server is realistically not that much more resource hungry than a container, but the benefits are noticeable.

Lots of the core reason stems from security concerns. For example, there are quite a few Microsoft Small Business Server styled linux attempts at hitting the business space, but instead of playing to the strengths of modern hardware, they all mostly throw every service on the same OS just like SBS does... which is a major weakness. So instead of an AD server that also does dns and dhcp and the list goes on, each thing in my environments get it's own seperate VM (eg, SAMBA4 by itself, bind by itself, isc-kea by itself, and so on)

Another reason for this is log parsing related. It's much easier to know that when the bind VM OSSEC logs go full alert, I know exactly what to fix. On multi container systems, a single failure or comprimise can end up affecting many containerizations and convoluting the problem/solution process.

Of course, the main weakness to such a system is any attempt to break out of the VM space illicitly could comprimise many systems, but that's why you harden the VM's and have good logging in the first place, but also do it to the host system, along with using distributed seperation of hosts and good backups.

Just some real world usage from a sysadmin I wanted to convey. I still will do a container or a VM with many containers for the devs if needed, but when it comes time to deploy to prod, I tend to use a full stack VM. I'm also open to talk about weaknesses in this system, as I'd be curious to hear what devs think.

To be fair, I still haven't fully caught up with the whole devops movement either, so perhaps I'm behind.

Also, a big shoutout to proxmox for a virtual environment system, FOSS and production quality since 4.0. I have also run BSD systems with jails in a similar way. The key pont of the article is that zones/jails/vms are top level isolations and containers are not (but that doesn't make containers bad!)

AlexanderDhoore 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nobody mentioned unikernels yet? It's a bit unrelated to the containers discussion in this thread, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. They let you create an operating system image, which only includes the code you need. Nothing more, nothing less. This improves security, because the attack surface is reduced.

It makes a lot of sense too me when I think about how cloud computing works. Most of the time an operating system container, zone, jail, VM... is booted just to run a select number of processes. There is absolutely no need for a general purpose system. I think unikernels could really shine in this area.

MirageOS is a project that lets you create unikernels. It's written in OCaml, so it's interesting in more than one way. MirageOS images mostly run on Xen, by the way.

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

[2] https://mirage.io/

aaossa 2 days ago 0 replies      
A little bit off topic but I've been following Jess for a while and I think that developers like her are great. In my country is hard to see a happy developer and she seems to enjoy everything she does. That's why I follow her, because of her great work and great personality. I'm happy to see one of her blog posts here in HN
apeace 2 days ago 0 replies      
In this post the author links to one of her previous posts[0], where she wrote:

> As a proof of concept of unprivileged containers without cgroups I made binctr. Which spawned a mailing list thread for implementing this in runc/libcontainer. Aleksa Sarai has started on a few patches and this might actually be a reality pretty soon!

Does anybody know if this made it into runc/libcontainer? I'm not an expert on these technologies but would love to read through docs if it has been implemented.

[0] https://blog.jessfraz.com/post/getting-towards-real-sandbox-...

opcenter 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had to read the post twice before I really got what she was saying. I think the distinction I would make is that while there are many more use cases that you can apply to Containers that may not apply to Jails, Zones, or VMs the most common use case of "run an app inside a pre-built environment" applies to all of them. Since I believe most users (or potential users) of Containers are only looking at that use case, it's harder to see the differences between the different technologies.

My only hope is that anyone in a position of making a decision on which technology to use can at least explain at a high level the difference between a Container and a VM.

swordswinger12 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not an OS person, so forgive me if this is a stupid question: Lots of people are excited about Intel SGX and similar things. Are there any interesting ways people are thinking about combining, like, Docker containers with SGX enclaves and such? One could imagine (e.g.) using remote attestation to verify an entire container image.
HugoDaniel 2 days ago 0 replies      
It doesn't matter how many distinction you make on these things (first-class, last-class, second-class, poor-class, etc...). These kind of discussions are always relative.

All is good as long as your decision is conscious of the compromises taken by each approach and what they entail (what other security mechanisms do you have at your disposal ? how could they enhance your app ? will your solution depend on external tools like ansible/puppet/etc ? do you actually need "containers" or jails or [insert your favorite trendy tech here] ?).

Running a *BSD or a Linux is a way bigger design decision than what kind of isolation mechanisms you have as many of the underlying parts are becoming different.

brotherjerky 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a novice, this was a great informative read. More posts like this on the Internet, please!
vor1968 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it possible to design a process that isn't a self-contained OS instance depending on a lot ofhorseshit overlay controls to perform a task in a welldesigned way that still allows privilege separation from the host OS in a manageable way?

Of course not. It's the basis for all this other shite.

Kiro 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm trying to understand something. At my last work we had a big problem with "works for me". We started using Vagrant and all those problems disappeared. Then Docker became popular and all of a sudden people wanted to use that instead.

But is Docker really suitable for this? While each Vagrant instance is exactly the same Docker runs on the host system. It feels like it will be prone to all sorts of dissimilarities.

fisholito 2 days ago 0 replies      
"container is not a real thing". But what could we say about real things within software field?
qaq 2 days ago 1 reply      
SmartOS run containers in zones get the best of both worlds
patrickg_zill 2 days ago 1 reply      
In earlier versions of ProxMox the openvz vms were called containers and the KVM vms were called vms. So it is pretty confusing overall.

For myself I would point out that Zones, Jails, OpenVZ and LXC , even KVM, all pretend that they are fully separate from the host node OS.

While Docker et al do not pretend this; in fact if you are running Apache on your host system and try to run a Dockerized web server on port 80 the Docker container might refuse to start. The other methods mentioned, can't even determine what they are running under.

kraemate 2 days ago 0 replies      
We wrote a paper comparing containers and VMs for the middleware conference: http://people.cs.umass.edu/~prateeks/papers/a1-sharma.pdf
jtchang 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why anyone would say to give up containers and just use Zones or VMs? Containers are solving a very real problem. The problem is that containers weren't as well marketed before Docker (or as user friendly).
cowardlydragon 1 day ago 0 replies      

This is almost always the harbinger of lies, deception, propaganda, or lack of nuance.

bingo_cannon 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have been learning about containers fairly recently. What are these security vulnerabilities that the post talks about? I haven't come across any docs that mention security yet.
jlebrech 2 days ago 0 replies      
before i even heard of containers i found out about jails and wondered if you could serve each users jail using an nginx config file in their home directory.
benmmurphy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think jess is on the money here. The complexity in linux containers vs zones show up in two ways:

1) the linux kernel container primitives are implemented in ways that are more complicated. for example in zones pid separation is implemented by just checking the zone_id and if the zone_id is different then processes can't access each other. this also means that in zones pids are unique and you can't have two processes from two different zones with the same pid [with the exception: i believe they may have hacked something in to handle pid1 on linux].

similarly, in zones there is no user mapping if you are root inside the zone you are also root outside of the zone. the files you create inside a zone are uid: 0 and also uid: 0 outside the zone.

if you look at how device permission is handled in linux we have cgroups that controls what devices can be accessed and created. while in solaris zones they use the existing Role Based Access Control and device visibility. so inside a zone you can either have permission to create all devices (very bad for security) or create no devices. In zones access to devices is mediated by whatever devices the administrator has created in your zone.

in zones there is no mount namespace instead there is something that is very similar to chroot. it is just a vnode in your proc struct where you are restricted from going above. zones have mostly been implemented by just adding a zone_id to the process struct and leveraging features in solaris that already existed [i guess the big exception would be the network virtualization in solaris] while in linux there are all these complicated namespace things.

this complexity means there are probably going to be more bugs in the linux kernel implementation. however, because you don't have as much fine grain control this can also create security bugs in your zone deployment. for example i found an issue in joyent's version of docker where you could trick the global zone into creating device files in your zone and these could be used to compromise the system. under a default lxc container this would not be possible because cgroups would prevent you from accessing the device even if you could trick someone else into creating it. you also have to be careful in zones with child zones getting access to files inside the parent zone. if you ever leak a filesystem fd or hard link into the child zone from the parent zone then all bets are off because the child is able to write into the parent zone as root. (i believe this situation was covered in a zone paper where they describe the risk of a non-privileged user in the global zone collaborating with a root user in a child zone to escalate privileges on the system)

2) because all the pieces are separate in linux then something has to put it together and make sure all the pieces are put together correctly. like i wouldn't trust sysadmins to do this on their own and luckily there are projects like lxc/lxd/docker etc that assemble these pieces in a secure way.

zpallin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found this article to be humorous and informative.
peterwwillis 2 days ago 1 reply      
betaby 2 days ago 5 replies      
Some point are just wrong. Containers and jails have many design similarities which were dismissed by author. Notably PIDs, both containers and jails are nearly identical with regard, you can kind of have one leg here another there, although that harder to achieve with FreeBSD jails; both implementations do not hide PIDs from the host systems. Networking - jails can run on top of non-virtualazed IP/net dev, containers can run in such modes as well. Link is someones rant without tech details.
irrational 2 days ago 0 replies      
Where does Docker fit into all of this? Asking for a friend.
jlebrech 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Lego" it's "Lego"
twic 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Legos

"LEGO is always an adjective. So LEGO bricks, LEGO elements, LEGO sets, etc. Never, ever "legos."" [1]

The other one that gets me is "math". I know it's not really plural, but "mathematics" has an a on the end, so it's "maths!"! Or do Americans say "stat" for "statistics" as well?


ianburrell 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think that the important feature of containers is that they are running from image containing the application. Zones, jails, and VMs are other isolation mechanisms that could be used to run containers. Running an application image unpacked into VM would be container.

One place where the difference in namespace is visible is with Kubernetes pods. Containers running in pod share network and volumes namespaces.

rickhanlonii 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great rant about something way over my head by someone who knows way more than me about it!

If I can transfer to a domain I understand better (front-end dev): It sounds like VMs, Jails, and Zones are like Ember.js: it comes with everything built in and is simple if you stay within the design.

Containers are more like React: it gives you the pieces to build it yourself, and building it all yourself can lead to complexity, bugs, and performance issues.

Disclosure: I have no idea what I'm talking about

Explain Shell explainshell.com
733 points by aleem  1 day ago   84 comments top 35
sjrd 1 day ago 2 replies      
Very nice! I fed it one of my favorite commands:

 git branch --merged | grep -v master | xargs -n 1 git branch -d
and it dealt with it reasonably well. The only part it couldn't understand was `branch -d` at the end. In other words, it was not capable of recognizing that the non-option arguments to `xargs` should actually be recursively interpreted as a command-line.

zufallsheld 1 day ago 0 replies      
Best used in combination with shellcheck (https://www.shellcheck.net/), which checks your shell scripts for bugs.
bradbeattie 1 day ago 1 reply      
I fed it the most recent command posted on commandlinefu.com:

 grep -i s2enc /etc/vcac/server.xml | sed -e 's/.* password=\"\([^\"]*\)\".*/\1/' | xargs -n 1 vcac-config prop-util -d --p 2>/dev/null; echo
Given the height of the result, scrolling up and down became a real pain. Maybe collapsable sections or position:fixed for the command or something like that?

dwpdwpdwpdwpdwp 1 day ago 2 replies      
Quite Nice. Just FYI, the very first command, :(){ :|:& };: is a fork bomb and you probably shouldn't run it in your shell
The_Hoff 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would love it if the site was encrypted so that I could input raw commands at work without modifying sensitive information. (Yes I understand the host can still record this sensitive information, and no I have not looked through the source code yet to see that this doesn't occur).
tmerr 1 day ago 2 replies      
This works well, but the web interface seems like an unnecessary layer on top of what could just be a terminal based tool. I'm trying to resist the urge to fork this, putting another project on my todo list I will never finish
mabynogy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Optenum to enrich the database of arguments:


fbis251 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know where I can find a completely offline tool that does what this site does?

The source for this seems like a bit of overkill. I'd like to be able to use a cli based tool that shows me relevant man sections for the flags I chose for example

TeMPOraL 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lovely! Bookmarking for future use!

Some quick notes on my way back from work:

1. Broken on mobile :(. Default layout is a mess, and "request desktop site" has the lines going to the edge of the screen, making them invisible. S7, Android, Firefox.

2. Totally neeeds to be done as an Emacs mode (preferably offline). Both for checking a particular command and during writing shell scripts.

tdrd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really solid. I fed it a recent nasty line from our Makefile: https://github.com/cockroachdb/cockroach/blob/4aeef50/build/...

Looks like it doesn't deal with subshells, but otherwise it did reasonably well.


btschaegg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very impressive.

It seems to rely strongly on common *NIX CLI patterns though. It really doesn't like dd, for example[1].

[1]: http://explainshell.com/explain?cmd=dd+if%3D%2Fdev%2Fsda+of%...


Also, it doesn't understand that the token after `-p` for netcat is actually the port argument[2]. I guess it is parsing manpages internally?

[2]: http://explainshell.com/explain?cmd=nc+

kevincox 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool tool. I think what would really be the icing on the cake is if it substitued the actual command into the documentation. Removing that one layer of indirection would make it that much easier to understand.

For example:

foo() { bar }

> This defines a function named "foo".

Also that example fails to parse. Even though :() { :|: };: works so it seems like there is a certian amount of special casing.

augustt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very cool! Although it has some problems if there isn't a space between a flag and its value: http://explainshell.com/explain?cmd=gcc+-I%2Fusr%2Flocal%2Fi...
frankhorrigan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not saying that this _is_ a phishing scam. But if it is, hoo boy it's a clever one.
scott_karana 22 hours ago 0 replies      

 file=$(echo `basename "$file"`)
This is a horrible example, since it has a "useless use of echo", forcing nested evaluations and a bashism. Basename prints to stdout too!

The sh-compatible, simpler equivalent:

 file=`basename "$file"`

cheeze 1 day ago 2 replies      
Pretty awesome, but broke on the first command I tried (granted, it is bash specific IIRC)

echo $(( 1 + 2 ))

danellis 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you hover over something that points to a description that's not currently in view, you can't scroll to the description without unhovering and hence unhighlighting the line pointing to the right description.
JasonSage 1 day ago 2 replies      
There are several commands on OS X that behave a bit differently from their traditional UNIX counterparts. grep is the big one that springs to mindany given grep shell-fu may just not work on OS X and I'll find myself having to reconstruct the arguments from scratch to get it working.

I'd love to see a fork of explainshell or an option in the interface to deal with items like this which are specific to OS X. Let me put a grep command in for OS X and have it show me what options I'm using which are undocumentedthat would be nifty.

alpb 1 day ago 1 reply      
Has anyone been able to get [ or [[ to work here?
abraves10001 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a relatively new programmer and one who went to one of those mediocre bootcamps, resources like this are invaluable. Thanks!
transposed 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought this was pretty cool but missing something. Until I realized that uMatrix was blocking Cloudflare. Once I loaded the rest of the site... Awesomeness. Great work, whoever made this.
captaincrunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty sweet! It's not explaining the 'u' in: netstat -tulpn though :O
tuxxy 1 day ago 1 reply      
mtrycz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I totally love this, expecially for learning other peoples code and habits.

If it only had a CLI so that I could use it directly from my terminal...

rohit33 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does well, but goes only so far. I fed the command sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/example.com/html and the tool wasn't capable of recognizing what $USER:$USER is doing.
nevster 1 day ago 0 replies      
Handy tip for those on a mac using terminal - type a command and press cmd-ctrl-shift-? to get a man page pop-up. (People with touch bars can just tap on the man page icon.)
israrkhan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very nice. However I find myself trying to decipher regular expressions more often than shell commands. A tool like this for regular expressions would have been more useful.
elmigranto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty neat! Though it would be nice if it brought into the view the part you highlight when it doesn't fit on screen, otherwise you have to scroll (and highlight is lost).
holtalanm 1 day ago 0 replies      
i discovered this site about two years ago. I still use it for explaining commands that I run across on StackOverflow before I run them in my own terminal.
IAmGraydon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Even though I'm fairly experienced in bash, this is the ultimate cheat sheet we all need. Thank you!
twistedpair 1 day ago 1 reply      
Too bad, I hoped this was a shell util like EXPLAIN in SQL.

e.g. explain cat foo.txt > out.txt

finnh 1 day ago 0 replies      
it does a pretty good job with "sudo make me a sandwich" =)


tambourine_man 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice work, could have a better mobile layout, though
electricEmu 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's no PowerShell support. That's not any command.


How to write Common Lisp in 2017 an initiation manual articulate-lisp.com
473 points by macco  2 days ago   247 comments top 28
hydandata 2 days ago 5 replies      
I started a big project at work using Common Lisp in 2017 and could not be happier. Sure, most nice features have trickled down to other languages, but they are rarely as nicely integrated. And Lisp still has many advantages that are not found elsewhere: Unmatched stability, on-demand performance, tunable compiler, CLOS, condition system, and Macros to name a few. It has its warts too but which language does not?

I found lack of high quality library documentation a bit annoying, but a non-issue, there were tests and/or examples included in practically all of the libraries I have used so far.

Lastly, this rarely gets brought up, but I think Common Lisp has some of the best books available out of any programming language. The fact that it is so stable means that most of material, and code, from the end of 80's and 90's is quite relevant today, and new stuff is being written.

The biggest downside is that it makes JavaScript and Python revolting to work with. But I can still enjoy SML for example.

yarrel 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd replace the first few steps with "Install Roswell" -


Roswell will install a Lisp and QuickLisp for you, and give you a single point of entry to install libraries, create and run code, and launch en editor (Emacs with Slime of course).

I can't recommend it highly enough (I'm nothing to do with the project, just a very happy user).

Scarblac 2 days ago 8 replies      
I'm used to languages like Python, that have a number of files that are modules, and to start a program you run one of them as an entry point.

C programs consist of a lot of files that are compiled and linked into a binary executable.

Whenever I've tried to learn CL, I couldn't really wrap my head around what the eventual program would be. You build an in-memory state by adding things to it, later dump it to a binary. How do you get an overview of what there is?

I'm just too used to my files, perhaps. Or I'm missing something.

kunabi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been working on a CL project for a couple of years. Was my first big stab at using CL for something other than a toy. Sbcl is a nice choice, but far from the only option. It has many tradeoffs. CL is not without its frustrations. Documentation that has not aged well. A community that can be less than welcoming.(in contrast to say the Racket community)Inconsistencies, e.g. first, nth, elt, getf, aref...However portability appears to be a strong point vs on the scheme scene.Single binary compilation on SBCL/LW/ACL/CCL are great. Found GC to sbcl to be lacking on large garbage rates. Tended to promote garbage to a tenure that prevented it from being removed. It would max out 32GB of memory, even with explicit gc's enabled between files. Where as the other implementations would stay below 4GB.

So ymmv.

Performance benchmarks using cl-bench really highlighted some strong points http://zeniv.linux.org.uk/~ober/clbAWS Cloudtrail parser. https://github.com/kunabi/kunabi

pnathan 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hi, HN! I made this! Ask me any questions you like. I'll try to respond as the workday progresses and I wait for deploys to complete!

paul@nathan.house if you want to email me instead. (or @p_nathan on Twitter, if that's your thing).

znpy 2 days ago 5 replies      
Some notes based on my (brief) experience toying with Common Lisp:

* Why hasn't anyone made a more eye-frendly version of the Common Lisp Hyper Spec ? Having good, easily-browsable documentation is a core-problem.

* The relation between the various native data-types were quite unclear to me.

* dealing with the external world was quite a mess. Many project/libraries implementing only half of something and then got abandoned.

* some libraries had a compatibility matrix... with common lisp implementations. that seemed weird to me.

AlexCoventry 2 days ago 6 replies      
Can someone point me at an argument for why I'd want to write CL in 2017, given all the great alternatives available now?
agentultra 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you're so inclined I'd make it a "living document" that gets updated as the state-of-the-art evolves. Writing CL in 2017 is not likely to change rapidly in the next decade but even compared to what writing CL was like 8 years ago it has changed enough.

Nice job.

TeMPOraL 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I remember - we need a refreshed SOTU for 2017. 2015 one[0] seems to be still mostly correct, but the CL scene is pretty active.

[0] - http://eudoxia.me/article/common-lisp-sotu-2015

edem 2 days ago 3 replies      
How does Common Lisp compares to Racket nowadays? I've seen a lot of activity but I can't decide which one to try out. I only have time for one of them ATM.
Grue3 2 days ago 0 replies      
>Repository for local libraries with the ASD files symlinked in

This method is so old, I can't believe people are still doing this. You can easily setup ASDF to look in a subtree of a directory and never care about it finding your libraries again.

[1] https://common-lisp.net/project/asdf/asdf.html#Configuring-A...

mikelevins 2 days ago 1 reply      
For people using macs, it's probably worthwhile to mention CCL's IDE, which you can easily build from within the CCL sources using (require :cocoa-application), or which you can get for free from the Mac App Store (it's called "Clozure CL").

It's a little bit bare bones and a little bit perpetually unfinished, but it works and it gives you a Lisp-aware environment for editingand running Lisp code, and even has a few handy tools.

lisper 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have a Mac you should try Clozure Common Lisp (http://ccl.clozure.com). It has an integrated IDE so you don't have to futz with emacs and slime.

Also, this library smooths over some of CL's rough edges:


gravypod 2 days ago 0 replies      
If this could have a "start" page and a "next" button that will take me from topic to topic in order I'd enjoy that.
GreyZephyr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wondering if anyone has any experience using lisp for machine learning? I'm aware of mgl[0], but it seems to be abandoned. The lack any wrappers for tensor flow or caffe is also a bit surprising to me. The cliki page [1] is also unhelpful and out of date. Is machine learning on lisp dead or are there projects out there that I'm just not aware of?

[0] https://github.com/melisgl/mgl

[1] http://www.cliki.net/machine%20learning

ntdef 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ah yes this is exactly what I needed. I was recently trying to start a CL project but I had trouble wading through all the outdated material, especially with regards to including external packages. Thanks for putting this together!
na85 2 days ago 6 replies      
If emacs is an obstacle to Common Lisp in 2017, maybe what's needed is a Lisp-interaction plugin for vi(m) (or whatever it is that vim uses in lieu of emacs modes). I don't get the hype for modal editing but you can't argue with the data clearly showing emacs users are in the minority.
macco 2 days ago 2 replies      
If somebody is not comfortable to use emacs (I am), there is a atom plugin for use with CL: https://atom.io/packages/atom-slime

It doesn't replace emacs, but it works as a first Lisp ide.

juanre 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wrote in Common Lisp the star map generation software at the core of my startup, http://greaterskies.com, and could not be happier. But now that it's getting off the ground I wonder whether it may adversely impact my chances of being acquired. Are there any known examples of recent CL-based startups?
s_kilk 2 days ago 2 replies      
While people are directing their attention here:

Last year I looked into Common Lisp for a while, but got turned off when I found that there's no distinction between the empty list and boolean false (or nil, in CL-speak).

I found this kinda weird and vaguely off-putting. I don't want to write code to handle the diffence between, say, an empty array and false or null in deserialized JSON data.

Can anyone comment on whether this comes up as an actual issue in practice?

killin_dan 2 days ago 3 replies      
The biggest problem with lisp adoption imo is that the first step of every path begins with emacs.

Emacs needs to die for lisp to flourish in a more modern editor.

Light Table was a good start, but we need some power behind similar projects.

I always thought guilemacs was the obvious successor, but it still hasn't happened.

throwaway7645 2 days ago 4 replies      
"Dear windows user, tell us how this is done for SBCL"

Watch YouTube video from Baggers. It's a lot more complicated than your average windows user will want to go through. Than you have to setup EMACS, quicklisp...etc. I never really new what quicklisp was doing and it made me nervous (I trust VS nuget).

tarrsalah 2 days ago 1 reply      
A newbie question please, How to deploy CL on production? I mean for long running programs.
quickoats 2 days ago 1 reply      
i do not know how to message the guy "Scott" author of page, so i am putting this here.

in the "LispWorks CL" page, under "Implementations", the "Notes" section elicidates a mystery about the Personal Edition not recognizing the lisp init files. This is actually a limitation in LispWorks Personal Edition which is described on the link provided to retrieve said edition.

lerax 2 days ago 0 replies      
ConanRus 2 days ago 4 replies      
Short answer: don't do that, use Clojure instead. It doesn't have any of listed problems.
cody8295 2 days ago 0 replies      
Probably the worst implementation of the 5-puzzle problem you can write.

codydallavalle@gmail.com Artificial Intelligence Assignment 1

Problem 09: Write GET-NEW-STATES to implement all possible movements of the empty tile for a givenstate.

CG-USER(151): (defun get-new-states (state)(setf new-states '())(cond ((= 0 (first state)) (setf new-states (list (list (second state) 0 (third state) (fourth state)(fifth state) (sixth state)) (list (fourth state) (second state) (third state) 0 (fifth state) (sixth state)))))((= 0 (second state)) (setf new-states (list (list (first state) (fifth state) (third state) (fourthstate) 0 (sixth state)) (list 0 (first state) (third state) (fourth state) (fifth state) (sixth state)) (list (firststate) (third state) 0 (fourth state) (fifth state) (sixth state)))))((= 0 (third state)) (setf new-states (list (list (first state) 0 (second state) (fourth state) (fifthstate) (sixth state)) (list (first state) (second state) (sixth state) (fourth state) (fifth state) 0))))((= 0 (fourth state)) (setf new-states (list (list 0 (second state) (third state) (first state) (fifthstate) (sixth state)) (list (first state) (second state) (third state) (fifth state) 0 (sixth state)))))((= 0 (fifth state)) (setf new-states (list (list (first state) 0 (third state) (fourth state) (secondstate) (sixth state)) (list (first state) (second state) (third state) 0 (fourth state) (sixth state)) (list (firststate) (second state) (third state) (fourth state) (sixth state) 0))))((= 0 (sixth state)) (setf new-states (list (list (first state) (second state) 0 (fourth state) (fifthstate) (third state)) (list (first state) (second state) (third state) (fourth state) 0 (fifth state)))))))


CG-USER(152): (get-new-states '(1 2 3 4 5 0))

((1 2 0 4 5 3) (1 2 3 4 0 5))

CG-USER(153): (get-new-states '(1 2 3 4 0 5))

((1 0 3 4 2 5) (1 2 3 0 4 5) (1 2 3 4 5 0))

CG-USER(154): (get-new-states '(1 2 3 0 4 5))

((0 2 3 1 4 5) (1 2 3 4 0 5))

CG-USER(155): (get-new-states '(1 2 0 3 4 5))

((1 0 2 3 4 5) (1 2 5 3 4 0))

CG-USER(156): (get-new-states '(1 0 2 3 4 5))

((1 4 2 3 0 5) (0 1 2 3 4 5) (1 2 0 3 4 5))

CG-USER(157): (get-new-states '(0 1 2 3 4 5))

((1 0 2 3 4 5) (3 1 2 0 4 5))

lenkite 2 days ago 5 replies      
I wish an experienced LISPer would explain why should one use Common Lisp over a language like Golang. Golang now has https://github.com/glycerine/zygomys for scripting. For that matter, why would one choose Common Lisp over GNU guile ? (guile now supports fibers). What does Common Lisp offer for the working programmer that is an advantage over other languages ?
A lawsuit over Costco golf balls qz.com
569 points by prostoalex  3 days ago   263 comments top 27
aluminussoma 3 days ago 5 replies      
Costco sued J&J Vision Care a few years ago over anti-consumer behavior in the contact lenses industry (I characterize it as anti-consumer. The Vision Care industry characterizes it as pro-consumer). They dropped the lawsuit in 2016, probably because Johnson and Johnson discontinued the practice: https://www.law360.com/articles/800034/costco-drops-antitrus...

Costco did support a different lawsuit by state of Utah against Contact Lens Manufacturers. The Manufacturers lost their first appeal in December 2016: http://www.sltrib.com/news/4731439-155/contact-lens-makers-l...

Hopefully this will begin reducing the prices of contact lenses. Kudos to Costco for sticking up for its customers.

Here is one manufacturer's opinion on this matter: https://www.alcon.com/content/unilateral-pricing-policy

gthtjtkt 3 days ago 7 replies      
> Companies with deep pockets lock down the market by making it too expensive for competitors to operate and to offer lower-priced yet quality products. It is a legitimate tactic; even those who succumb to it dont really begrudge the approach.

Who the hell wrote this article, the CEO of Acushnet?

"Don't get the wrong idea, small businesses love being sued over frivolous patents they never infringed upon!"

finaliteration 3 days ago 3 replies      
Ironically, anti-competitive moves like this are only going to accelerate the game of golf's steady decline[0]. I get needing to protect your market as a large player, but when you are the main player and your product is too expensive to buy and the perception is growing that the sport you specialize in is a waste of time and money, what good does it do to push out someone making a cheaper product that may allow beginning players with smaller budgets to enter the game?


hkmurakami 3 days ago 2 replies      
This article is very sparse on details. For one, the factory that makes the Costco balls primarily makes Taylor Made balls. The manufacturer is a Korean company that used its excess capacity to make Costco's balls. Taylor Made sells premium balls so they're pressuring the manufacturer to not do this in the future.

Also i haven't seen any details about Costco having a golf ball design team. Where did this design come from? Did they contract it out to one of the small manufacturers that he article refers to? That's mainly the thing I want to know, since if it's truly their design that they own, then they'll be able to find someone to make it for them.

Also Aschunet isn't that deep pocketed. Their annual revenues are $1.5B with ~$70M shares outstanding and an EPS of about 6, so about $400M in profit, and operating income is in the range of $150M. https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/14841-acushnet-losing-sale...

Unlike the small ball companies they sued, Costco is a much bigger company than Acushnet and can afford to fight them off, especially since Costco has the distribution scale, hype, and demographic fit perfectly suited to really move the needle with this product (The upper middle class family with disposable income that is budget conscious, which is Costco's main market, is perfect for a budget high performance golf ball, which is a perishable sporting good that you need to buy hundreds of if you play regularly).

(Fwiw it is very common in the sport to have small upstart club makers. Basically all you need is a milling machine to make a perfectly reasonable iron or putter, and every now and then you'll see a random small manufacturers club in a tour player's bag - ex: the Yes! Golf putter when Retief Goosen won both his US Opens)

BEEdwards 3 days ago 3 replies      
> It is a legitimate tactic; even those who succumb to it dont really begrudge the approach.

Maybe I just haven't given up yet, but what the f*ck? This is not a legitimate tactic, this is LITERALLY everything wrong with our present system.

xupybd 3 days ago 5 replies      
This shows everything wrong with IP today. There should be no place for legal bullying. Especially when it's as simple as crushing competitors under litigation costs.
tedunangst 3 days ago 2 replies      
I would have appreciated some more information about these patents. Like instead of telling me the lawsuit is all hot air, show me? I feel they deliberately omitted any facts which might allow me to form any opinion other than the one I'm supposed to have. (I'm happy to believe the lawsuit is bullshit, but not based on nothing but say so.)
sergiotapia 3 days ago 1 reply      
> David Dawsey, a golf intellectual-property expert

Talk about carving a niche for yourself.

bitmapbrother 3 days ago 0 replies      
Companies that knowingly waste the courts time by filing frivolous lawsuits should be heavily punished. Acushnet is not defending their patents, they're just trying to prevent competition. They're fully aware that no patents were violated because they've already examined the KS balls extensively for infringement. This case will never make it court for the simple reason that their hand has been thoroughly exposed.
cissou 3 days ago 4 replies      
I don't understand how

"We laughed when we got the lawsuit. We knew we made it."


"his company settled the 2015 claims with Acushnet by agreeing to get out of the golf-ball business altogether; it received no payment from Acushnet, nor did it pay."

are compatible statements.

dbg31415 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love Costco. They pay good wages (with benefits), have good quality products, and great prices. They have a kick ass return policy. And they stick it to patent trolls. Fuck yeah, Costco. Keep it up.
bmcusick 3 days ago 3 replies      
American courts should have a "Loser pays" rule, and stricter standards for determining what is a frivolous lawsuit warranting additional penalties for the filer.

American jurisprudence has always favored making sure "everyone gets their day in Court" to the point where trolls and professional litigants are ruining things.

dmritard96 3 days ago 0 replies      
Samsung and Apple fought over rectangles. Nest and Honeywell fought over circles. Next up, spheres...

But in all seriousness, this is just rent seeking via the patent system.

tomohawk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of the time we almost got inexpensive milk, until some pet congresscritters intervened to keep the milk trust intact.


golergka 3 days ago 0 replies      
Everybody's quick to call this "bullying". How are all of you so sure that Costco didn't indeed steal intellectual property? Or the fact that small companies got sued before means that it were frivolous lawsuits - because, being small, they couldn't have possibly done anything bad like stealing IP?

I don't know anything about this issue, but at least I know I don't know it. What I don't understand is whether all the HN commentators get the idea that they know the situation good enough to jump to conclusions here.

ALee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Two things to keep in mind:

1) Acushnet is trying to keep Costco from entering the market, but once Costco sells a significant number of its golf balls, Acushnet will have to deal with the economic ramifications.

2) Streisand effect - this lawsuit plays really well for Costco, namely that it gives them a lot of free publicity and hype around their supposedly amazing golf balls.

duncan_bayne 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just get rid of patents altogether, already:


(Titled "Anti-Copyright Resources", but in fact contains a lot of material relevant to patents, too.)

barking 3 days ago 0 replies      
The law is there to protect us but this is an example of how the high cost of going to law facilitates oppression.

The same goes when it comes to dealing with the government.A government official has no personal liability with respect to any decision they make and has essentially bottomless pockets if it goes to court.

It means for example that a revenue officers decision is final when it comes to the interpretation of tax law in your case, unless you're very rich.

Skylled 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry, but shouldn't it be the responsibility of the party making the claim to provide evidence of patent infringement before the defendant is ever even affected?

What a sad state of affairs our court system is in if even a known false lawsuit can be devastating.

pkolaczk 2 days ago 0 replies      
"But we couldnt afford to fight the case" I think there must be something very wrong with the court system in USA. This is the one who claims their patents have been infringed that should prove at the court and pay the price for filing the lawsuit, including the cost of the experts hired by the court. Why are the costs of defense so high in this case?
aryehof 3 days ago 0 replies      
If parties generally cannot afford to defend claims such as this, surely this reflects poorly on access to justice. Justice only available to the rich?

How can one claim a state based on the rule of law, if it is not accessible to all in a timely manner?

praptak 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why don't consumers boycott the trolls out of existence? It's not like there is a huge cost of switching golf balls, right? And the consumer base isn't companies whose deciders spend someone else's money.
kevin_thibedeau 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why not just make a $1 ball using all of the expired 1990's era patents from the top manufacturers. You'd make a mint. Name it the Patentless.
bodyloss 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why is it that the patent holder doesn't have to make a case with proof of infringment? Would it not make sense that if you want to defend a patent, you should show you've made the effort of documenting how someone is infringing?
xroche 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is why most patents should be eradicated. They only allow established companies to stay in business despite lack of innovation and price competition. The whole patent system is abused by parasites.
albeebe1 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was half expecting to read an article about counterfeit golf balls, or a factory side selling its customers product. Not even close, this is interesting.
chmike 3 days ago 0 replies      
Could this be a tactic to chose the trial location and avoid Texas ?
Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power nytimes.com
414 points by mathoff  1 day ago   387 comments top 29
killjoywashere 1 day ago 10 replies      
The real concern here is making sure the existing nuclear plants have a clear glide slope toward end-of-life. Nuclear power is an extremely tight community. On the nuclear carrier I was on (powered by Westinghouse plants), there was a valve (a valve!) malfunctioning and the tech rep flown out from the company took one look at it and said "This bit's in backward". "How do you know?" "I designed it". Which means the same guy had been working on that system for 30 years.

The people working for this company are a matter of national security. I sure hope Secretary Mattis understands that.

This, also, by the way, is a great illustration of Elon Musk's contention that these technologies don't just keep working. Brilliant, competent engineers and scientists have to invest themselves in making them work.

freehunter 1 day ago 8 replies      
I find the headline weird, "a blow to nuclear power". I feel like nuclear power is possibly the most attacked form of energy that exists, and that includes coal and petroleum, both of which are still heavily used despite any public outcry. Westinghouse has made some bad deals, sure, but the real "blow to nuclear power" has been the massive refusal by both citizens and governments to build new plants, and the few notable failures by plant operators to maintain safe operation.

Of course the company that builds nuclear plants can't succeed if new plants aren't being built. Westinghouse going under isn't going to destroy nuclear power, nuclear power was already dead.

barkingcat 1 day ago 5 replies      
There was massive financial fraud at Westinghouse. Even though the nuclear industry is in a downturn, the troubles at Westinghouse are self inflicted - Toshiba bought them, but found out almost all of the unit's profits are misreported, leading to them spending money on "nothing" basically. The unit earned no money and was threatening to sink Toshiba the entire keiretsu. This is Toshiba trying to save itself by closing down the tide of red.

The source of the troubles was Westinghouse's purchase of CB&I Stone & Webster, and it spun out of control.

thewhitetulip 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a Nikola Tesla fan, just a honorary mention, Westinghouse corporation is (one of) the (main) reason why we have AC. When nobody believed in Tesla, George did, even after the bullying by the Edison camp, the smear campaigns. I have read that per watt of AC current, Nikola Tesla was supposed to get some $2.3, but Westinghouse told Tesla that he would be bankrupt if Tesla was to be given that Royalty, the legend has it that Telsa tore the contract saying something like this, "You believed in me when the world didn't, I don't want the money", even if he didn't say something fancy during this time, but the act in itself, if it really happened, is touching. I nearly cried when I read it in a book a long long time ago.

It is sad to see that a energy giant is going bankrupt. End of an era for a Tesla fan, the company who believed in Tesla is going bankrupt.

maxfurman 1 day ago 6 replies      
This is terrible news. Nuclear power, while not perfect, is one of the best alternatives we have to carbon-emitting power plants. If there are no companies left to build them, the already impossible task of fighting climate change will get that much harder.
moomin 1 day ago 1 reply      
A difficulty I've always had with nuclear power is the problem of clean-up. I'm not scaremongering and saying it's impossible, but it is inarguably expensive. Having a large amount of costs after all the revenue has gone away is a huge regulatory red flag: it's simpler to just structure things so that you won't have to pay.

This problem applies to mining as well, but very little mining has to occur near residential areas.

erikig 1 day ago 1 reply      
Chapter 11 bankruptcy might be a the best thing for a critical company like Westinghouse. Unlike Chapter 7 the operations continue but the entity gets debt relief.

"In Chapter 11, in most instances the debtor remains in control of its business operations as a debtor in possession, and is subject to the oversight and jurisdiction of the court." [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapter_11,_Title_11,_United_S...

nabla9 1 day ago 1 reply      
Westinghouse had severe technical problems with AP1000 and it's not alone. French nuclear reactor builder Areva was restructured after they could not get their new EPR reactors ready on time. Their flagship project Olkiluoto 3 is nine years late and several billions of euros over budget.

Chinese are building reactors as fast as they can. They are buying reactors designs from all main manufacturers. There are 21 reactors under construction and they are three years late on average because manufacturers can't get these next generation reactors ready.

Nuclear reactors being constantly late and exceeding their budgets is not new. This was true in 60's and 70's and it's true now.

jartelt 1 day ago 0 replies      
The nuclear industry was already having big issues, so I do not see this bankruptcy changing things much. The decline of nuclear wasn't even related to safety concerns, which I believe are largely exaggerated. Currently operating nuclear plants are losing money and needed to be bailed out in Illinois and New York because they cannot produce power for a low enough price. With that in mind, who wants to spend >$1B to build a new nuclear plant that will likely take >10 years to get permitted and built? For the industry to grow, there needs to be a big change in technology to decrease the capital costs needed to build plants and to decrease plant operating costs. If you cost more than a natural gas plant, you are not going to have much luck in today's market.
Stratoscope 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was a kid, my most favorite plastic model kit was the Westinghouse Atomic Power Plant. It was awesome!


You can even buy one today for the low price of $1250:


mathattack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bankruptcy doesn't mean closure. Someone will bring them out of bankruptcy, but a lot of their existing creditors (and their existing owner) will get stiffed along the way. Most airlines that went backrupt didn't disappear, but their owners took a haircut.
caminante 1 day ago 0 replies      
Without getting into mismanagement or environmental concerns, nuclear's economics continue to worsen.

1. The supply of nuclear expertise and trained professionals is shrinking. Thus, nuclear EPC + O&M goes up. This article cites this factor at least 3x in different paragraphs. Though, that's great news for current nukes!

2. LCOE (EPC + O&M) forecasts show nuclear on par with substitutes. I'm not taking on the ESG risks of nuclear to achieve price parity.

mikikian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's the declaration by Lisa J. Donahue, Managing Director and the Leader of the Global Turnaroundand Restructuring Group at AlixPartners LLC, describing the circumstances leading up to the bankruptcy [1].

[1] https://pdf.inforuptcy.com/pacer/nysbke/273388/dockets/4/1-C...

DrNuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
West badly needs not surrendering Gen IV development & commercialisation to Russia and China, for geopolitics reasons and Pu stockpile re-use. Westinghouse is a chip here, a prestigious one for sure, and Gov should step in. Time to drop the energy free-market drivel and act as a superpower in a world that is dangerously going towards aggressive local superpowers. Risk! game scenarios again.
wonderous 1 day ago 1 reply      
@Dang (HN "meta" Q&A)

Has HN ever looked into clustering news using Google News to do it?

Reason I ask is how HN's de-dup filter works is puzzling to me and related stories would likely be useful to pool comments/de-dup/etc on a single news event.

Example of dups, clusters, themes on HN on this event:https://hn.algolia.com/?query=westinghouse&sort=byDate&prefi...

Google News cluster:https://news.google.com/news/m/more?ncl=dGww1eRZGqsOScMMCg3U...

nbanks 1 day ago 2 replies      
The two new Westinghouse Vogtle pants are too expensive, at $14 billion for 2.5GW of power. If you purchased $14 billion of Tesla powerpacks, you could get 35GWh of storage--enough storage to supply 2.5GW of power for 14 hours....
ehnto 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a fantastic documentary on the namesake of Westinghouse and the company itself. I found it incredibly interesting! They go into topics such as his relationship with other inventors at the time and his perhaps philanthropic relationship with his workers, the different cycles of the company and it's various product pivots.


jiggliemon 1 day ago 0 replies      
July 7th, 1888: Tesla Sells A.C. Patents

Tesla sells patents for A.C. Polyphase System to George Westinghouse for $25,000 in cash, $50,000 in notes and a royalty of $2.50 per horsepower for each motor.


Some tangential history regarding Westinghouse for fun.

cowardlydragon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have no industry wide view, but...

All existing nuclear powerplants are shitty Fukushima-style pressurized light water reactors in the US, are they not?

I'd have to think this company is an incumbent blocking entry of modern designs. Is this really a bad thing?

zollidia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I honestly have nothing to add - most of the points I want to bring up are already discussed in the comments.

But to those are actively working in a US Reactor Complex - you're working the dream I hope to achieve one day. Good job.

Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does this mean the AP-1000 reactor is dead? Several of those are under construction.
cpr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apropos of nuke subs and carriers, the thing that always blew my mind was learning later in life that they're only fueled once for their working life time...
danans 1 day ago 2 replies      
Was/Is Westinghouse doing anything with smaller scale reactor technologies (Thorium,etc). If not, does this potentially open a door for those technologies?
smaili 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is this the same Westinghouse that produces microwaves?
luckyduck13 1 day ago 0 replies      
My grandpa worked for Westinghouse as an electrical engineer. This news really bums me out.
seanmcdirmid 1 day ago 1 reply      
My dad worked for Westinghouse in the late 70s at Hanford. This really feels like an end of an era.
brilliantcode 1 day ago 2 replies      
I believe the nuclear power industry largely started out as a way to justify world's largest nuclear warhead stockpile. I believe it was on a show from Netflix that discussed the history of nuclear power. It worked remarkably well.
squozzer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind this financial debacle occurred in spite of at least one state's electricity customers paying for nuclear plant construction in advance:


"January 2013: $1.05, third part of the three-tiered rate increase; 31-cent increase for energy-efficiency programs; 85-cent increase for Plant Vogtle

Note: Figures are amounts added or reduced on a typical monthly bill based on usage of 1,000 kilowatt hours"

anovikov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why should we be worried? Nuclear power is a no go for civilized world. It is not insurable. It has well-developed, clean alternatives. Apart from carriers and subs, it has no good applications (it would be also be great to get back to nuclear missile cruisers and ideally even destroyers, but outside of the military, i can't see any use for it at all).
SpaceX makes aerospace history with successful landing of a used rocket theverge.com
390 points by smb06  16 hours ago   89 comments top 9
jernfrost 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Exciting! I'd like to see the faces of all those people arrogantly writing off SpaceX and Elon Musk. He isn't just a flamboyant marketing man, just doing stuff NASA did 40 years ago or whatever sour comments I've seen directed towards the achievements of SpaceX.

It is very inspiring to see a man with a dream reach this far, despite being ridiculed for years. It wasn't supposed to be possible, but he did it anyway. From now on one can always point to Elon Musk if somebody tries to put you down and say something can't be done.

Of course most are not anywhere near the talent and focus of Elon Musk, but it proves what people often seem to discount that startups can make a dent and challenge the big established players.

I see the same when people discuss Tesla. People are very quick to write off Tesla believing it is only a matter of time before Diamler Benz, Audi, Toyota, etc knock them down with a superior electric alternative.

Personally I think we will see in both space launch and the car industry an iPhone moment, where long time established players eventually get destroyed or made irrelevant.

It has nothing to do with difference in talent, but when you work in an established company you know very well how slow it can be for a company to change their ways in fundamental ways. The change in priorities, strategy and mindset will come too late for many of the players.

Diederich 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I heard that Musk said that the next goal is to get Falcon 9 total turnaround time to under 24 hours.

That's a direct dress rehearsal for the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITS_launch_vehicle plan, where it takes off and returns directly to its pad, where it's refueled and 2nd stage loaded on top, for immediate turnaround.

We're living in the fuckin' future.

spiraldancing 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Napkin-math ...

Long-term, Falcon9 exists to fund Spacex' R&D for Mars. Until now, Musk has said <5% of Spacex budget goes to ITS dev. I expect that to change now.

1st stage costs $40m, targeting 10 flights = $4m/flight, amortised. Add another 2-3 million for refurbishment, storage, etc., and reusing the 1st stages should save Spacex ~$33m.

Shotwell, however, has stated that customers will receive up to 30% discount. On a $62m flight, that's a savings of <$19m ...

giving Spacex an extra $12-15m pure profit on every flight ... which I hope/expect to get channeled into ITS dev.

Spacex is already the cheapest in the industry, and they now have a 3-5 year head-start in reusability, they simply don't need to lower their prices more.

mr_overalls 15 hours ago 7 replies      
The obvious question: how much cheaper should this make it, per pound, to put something in orbit?
yitchelle 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Does the mean the amount of space vehicles (satellite, space stations, transport space crafts etc) will explode in next few years? I wonder if there any infrastructure to support this.
skdotdan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome if much more capital was assigned to the space industry. Imagine a whole ecosystem of space companies both competing and cooperating.
fwefwwfe 14 hours ago 4 replies      
How do they know how many times they can re-use the rocket? Do they xray it for cracks every 5 flights?
ge96 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for making progress for humanity. Being useful haha.

edit: damn I could imagine something like a long assembly line, one building is a massive x-ray machine, rocket slides into it like a sub-sandwich going into a Quizno's oven, parts get pulled out, replaced with robotic arms, refueled, payload attached, stands up, boom back into space! haha

peter303 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Blue Origin has reused their Shepard rocket 4(?) times.Their rockect has not gone into deep space.
Voice Calls: Secure, Crystal-Clear, AI-Powered telegram.org
435 points by tuyguntn  1 day ago   276 comments top 34
torrent-of-ions 1 day ago 12 replies      
I will definitely try this because I have trouble with all other voice chat services including Skype, WhatsApp and Hangouts. Often one of those three will work but not always.

But the most annoying problem with any internet voice chat is not so much the quality but the latency. Landline phones have noticeably lower voice quality but one can still enjoy a conversation perfectly well. High latency, on the other hand, absolutely ruins the experience.

I always see these services talking about "crystal clear quality", but never latency, which is a shame. Maybe there is simply nothing they can do about it. I've noticed latency get worse and worse on the Internet since I started using it in the 90s and nobody seems to talk about it.

There are so many more sources of latency on every layer on the modern internet and it's a damn shame. I remember when interleaving got enabled on my ADSL and latency to everything doubled overnight. Then there are NATs, and all kinds of filtering shit that ISPs insist on. Sigh...

hannob 22 hours ago 2 replies      
"Each time you make a Voice Call on Telegram, a neural network learns from your and your devices feedback (naturally, it doesnt have access to the contents of the conversation, it has only technical information such as network speed, ping times, packet loss percentage, etc.). The machine optimizes dozens of parameters based on this input, improving the quality of future calls on the given device and network."

Is it just me or does this sound like serious bullshit? Unless you have some hard evidence of course...

cflee 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does anyone have an opinion on the new "three-message modification of the standard DH key exchange" they introduced for calls?

From their API doc: https://core.telegram.org/api/end-to-end/voice-calls#key-ver...

> Party A will generate a shared key with B or whoever pretends to be B without having a second chance to change its exponent a depending on the value g_b received from the other side; and the impostor will not have a chance to adapt his value of b depending on g_a, because it has to commit to a value of g_b before learning g_a.

> The use of hash commitment in the DH exchange constrains the attacker to only one guess to generate the correct visualization in their attack, which means that using just over 33 bits of entropy represented by four emoji in the visualization is enough to make a successful attack highly improbable.

wackspurt 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Each time you make a Voice Call on Telegram, a neural network learns from your and your devices feedback (naturally, it doesnt have access to the contents of the conversation, it has only technical information such as network speed, ping times, packet loss percentage, etc.). The machine optimizes dozens of parameters based on this input, improving the quality of future calls on the given device and network."

What sort of parameters are adjusted?

phillc73 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've managed to setup Telegram for most of my (non-technical) family - wife, siblings, mother (she doesn't even have a smart phone and just uses Telegram as a message client on her desktop. It's a very convenient way to share family related pictures).

Voice calls are an excellent addition. If these could now also be extended to video calls, I could likely ditch Skype forever.

notspanishflu 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm using Telegram as my main messaging system but I hope they'll open source everything. That's the only way to fully audit the service.

Telegram is not too bad but has too many grey areas at this moment.

Animats 20 hours ago 2 replies      
The emoji out of band authentication is cool, but probably annoying. You have to read those emoji by voice to the other end, so they can check them. That could be a pain if the emoji are chosen randomly from the 2600 available emoji.

The idea comes from the STU-3 secure phone, where there was a 2-digit number display to be read back by voice. It's one of the ways to detect a man-in-the-middle attack. If there's a MITM, the crypto bits sent and received are different, because the MITM is re-encrypting, and this is detectable if you have some out of band channel for comparing them. A MITM would thus have to be able to fake the voice of the other party.

With techniques like this, you can make an MITM work arbitrarily hard to maintain the illusion that it's the other party. I've proposed some ways to do this for web pages.

eddiecalzone 1 day ago 5 replies      
Signal has this as well. I trust their security (personal bias), but unfortunately the call quality is a non-starter at the moment.
t3ra 1 day ago 4 replies      
But seriously how do they pay their bills? (I know VK brothers are super rich)

There are bots that relay huge media files

It's probably (imo) the fastest & most complete cloud based chat app

Everything.. Literally everything you share can be retrived over the cloud

& and now calling

That must be super expensive infrastructure? No investors no monetization

vram22 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried https://appear.in recently for a short call with a student and it worked well. A friend and fellow freelancer also uses it, he said. One good point about it is if you need to do a quick ad-hoc call - it is browser-based (probably uses WebRTC), and also does not need to you create an account or sign in. Plan to try it more in future, as well as TeamSpeak which I also mentioned in this thread. I had installed Wire too, both on PC and Android phone, but not tried it yet with anyone.
anotheryou 1 day ago 3 replies      
Closed source, not end-to-end encrypted by default, end-to-end only device to device (so I can't swap seamlessly from a desktop to a mobile session).Not even the protocoll is open, so I am bound to their clients.

Sadly it was the only nice alternative when the snowden stuff was published. That means those of my peers who made it away from skype/fb/whatsapp are now on telegram.

neorex 1 day ago 0 replies      
Conference calls! That's what we need in a whatsapp/telegram like app. Make it a reality to see the end of telco domination in the voice space.
scandox 1 day ago 0 replies      
How many times has this headline been changed? I've seen 3 different ones.
raarts 20 hours ago 1 reply      
No app wil ever accomplish consistent good voice quality over the internet. Ever. For that it's too much of an unreliable network. You may try some calls over Signal, think Hey! This works well! until you hit a moment where the route between endpoints is flaky, attribute it to Signal while using another app for that same call at that particular point in time would have given the same result.

Only when QoS will be honored by all internet routers will we reach something that is consistently reliable.

skybrian 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Some artist had fun with this: we have a woman talking on her cell phone while driving and a fully clothed man in a bathtub, with a monocle.
akinalci 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The NN approach sounds interesting, but there are no technical details and it might be hype-based marketing.

Is anyone familiar with solid published work on applying ML/AI to optimize network control (or, as done here, optimize application parameters depending on network conditions).

spiraldancing 1 day ago 1 reply      
I still vote Wire. It used to be buggy, but much better now, plus completely Open Source (Telegram is not).

I just placed my first Wire audio call from my phone a few minutes ago: great quality (better than my actual phone service), no noticeable lag.

pgalus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it fully controlled by FSB?
cprecioso 1 day ago 5 replies      
Can anyone familiar with the matter say how secure is the 4-emoji verification code?
BHSPitMonkey 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The UI for trimming and setting the quality of sent videos is really neat. It's still annoyingly hard in 2017 to send videos from one mobile to another without needing to completely trash the quality via MMS or upload an often-gigantic file (captured in 1080p or higher) to an intermediary like YouTube or Facebook (and then wait for backend processing).
jonotime 22 hours ago 2 replies      
My problem with Telegram is I want to use it but they wont let me. I use a budget phone service (freedompop) which apparently is technically voip, but I did not know until I tried to register for Telegram with it. They refuse to send me text verification. Wont work with my google voice number either. WhatsApp does not have this problem. And what if I want to use Telegram on desktop only? Why do I need to verify a phone number?
kylehotchkiss 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is awesome.. I have been trying to video chat with somebody more overseas. Whatsapp video, facebook video, skype, seems like the only thing that works for us right now is Duo.

Bad thing: this tech is trapped in Telegram which is quite political of an app. I wish they'd break it out into something like duo.

ComodoHacker 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish they allow arbitrary user identifiers, which are not tied to mobile operators. Just for geeks.
sneak 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is your periodic reminder that Telegram uses sketchy crypto and should be avoided.
pawelwentpawel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very welcome addition. Can anyone confirm if this feature will be available on the desktop app as well?
anoldgangstah 4 hours ago 0 replies      
a neural network learns from your and your -- typo
Numberwang 1 day ago 5 replies      
Very good. Great even.But there is a problem. Whatsapp has already won the chat/calls app war. Watch it grow massivly in the next year, i promise.Mostly due to incompetence of MS and Google.
anoldgangstah 4 hours ago 0 replies      
a neural network learns from your and your
davidjgraph 1 day ago 4 replies      
I happened to be reading a comparison of Telegram and Whatsapp this morning [1]. I've never used Whatsapp, is it really this bad or is the reviewer clearly a massive Telegram fanboy/girl?

[1] https://info.seibert-media.net/display/Atlassian/Comparison+...

s_dev 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there any plans to bring group chat to Telegram?
astannard 1 day ago 2 replies      
With talk of neural interfaces and augmentation will we have apps in the future that support human to human encryption I wonder?
gregn610 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pied Piper, is that U ?
r1ch 1 day ago 4 replies      
In a world full of bloated Electron HTML5 / JS "desktop apps", I'm very happy to see Telegram on Windows is a native app (Qt). It feels so incredibly responsive compared to everything else.
tfatcek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Show HN: Kite, copilot for programmers, available for Python kite.com
549 points by adamsmith  2 days ago   241 comments top 67
arihant 2 days ago 3 replies      
Since this program uploads code to the cloud, it would be worthy to clarify if it cleans out strings before upload or not. Because if it does not, it is a serious concern as it puts secret keys in code in awful risk.

They also run a background process that needs to be manually killed to be able to uninstall. It feels like a quarantine. This is an editor plugin, is there really no simpler way to provide uninstall capability?

adamsmith 2 days ago 10 replies      
Adam from Kite here. Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement around the launch today. We're excited to be opening up Kite for everyone to download today.

When we launched Kite here on hackernews almost a year ago we were blown away by the enthusiasm for our smart copilot vision. Over 65,000 of you signed up for Kite in the first 72 hours, and over the past year we've been working with many of you to deliver that vision. It's taken a momentous effort, but today we're ready to take off the wrapping paper and open up Kite to the world.

Here's what we've been working on:

* Deep editor integrations: to make Kite better for smaller screens and more integrated into the coding workflow. You no longer have to dedicate a sidebar of your screen to Kite; instead, recommendations from Kite replace your editors autocompletions and hover results.

* Fine-grained privacy controls modeled after the .gitignore file format means that you can selectively and precisely decide which files and folders Kite indexes.

* Next generation type inference engine that uses both static analysis and statistical inference over Github. Kite beats PyCharm and Jedi by 32% on a typical Django project, offering more completions when you need them.

* Ranked completions which put the most relevant completions at the top of the autocomplete box using techniques traditionally used in web search.

* Kite for Windows. (And Linux in testing!)

Check it out at kite.com.

languagehacker 2 days ago 2 replies      
I just tried Kite on my Mac, and I was really not pleased with it. Uploading all of your code to the cloud is questionable at best when the code you're working on isn't necessarily your own. Having Kite running in the background without a way to disable or uninstall it feels like nothing short of malware. The lack of documentation for how to uninstall Kite from your machine or how to remove your data from their cloud is also pretty worrisome.
rohit33 2 days ago 4 replies      
Curious to try Kite, I started to integrate Kite plugin into PyCharm until I saw they keep our code in the cloud which enables Kite do what it does. I'm not sure how many of them would be ok with their code being stored in a private cloud!
hasenj 2 days ago 2 replies      
In my professional job I work with code that is private and copy righted by the company that's employing me and praying my salary, not to mention sometimes I edit files that contain sensitive or critical information like passwords and secret encryption/decryption keys.

Anything that sends all my code to the cloud is automatically disqualified.

EDIT: thanks for the downvote btw.

nichochar 2 days ago 1 reply      
I appreciate people trying to build "cool" products, but the downsides of this are so high that people should heavily consider never using it.

Uploading all of your code to the cloud is a massive liability. To top this, the people interested in "something magical that codes for me" are not the good developers, their users are very most likely beginners, bootcamp coders, junior engineers, etc...

I think they're abusing trust through obscurity, people have no idea that their code is being uploaded. Making this the default for a very common python-autocomplete in atom is even worse... see this: https://github.com/autocomplete-python/autocomplete-python/i...

zeptomu 2 days ago 8 replies      
Maybe a little bit off-topic and controversial, but in my opinion auto-complete is overrated.

Doing software development is mostly reading code and documentation. Obviously one also writes code and for sure one can't memorize every function or package name, but searching for it isn't that much of a bottleneck? Some time ago I wrote Java using Eclipse (which had/has reasonable auto-complete), but when I switched to different languages, I also switched my IDE and mostly use plain text editors these days. There are auto-completion tools for text editors, but I just never invest the time to activate or configure them and AFAIK there aren't completion tools which work well across different languages.

Maybe I revisit them at some point, but at the moment I do not really miss auto-completion.

tekklloneer 2 days ago 2 replies      
I straight up cannot use Kite. The "code-to-cloud" functionality means that I cannot use it at work. I would love to use it, but it's a non-starter.
inputcoffee 2 days ago 1 reply      
Where are the Instructions?

okay, so I am excited about this, don't mind some code in the cloud, but I am having trouble with a quick start.

Downloaded it, had trouble launching it (expired certificate).

Once I did launch it there are no instructions.

I went into the tray and went to settings. It was trying to map my WHOLE USER FOLDER.

I turned that off, and whitelisted a smaller folder for it to use. Set up a small test python file. Opened up a sublime file.

Can you include some instructions about how Kite is supposed to integrate with anything? I see this cool video but it is not obvious how I am supposed to get it to work for myself.

atarian 2 days ago 1 reply      
How do I uninstall Kite on OSX? It seems you guys keep a Kite Helper and Kite Engine process up that's impossible to quit out of and prevents me from deleting the app.
progval 2 days ago 3 replies      
Could you make your website not display a blank page if the browser has Javascript disabled?

The content does not seem dynamic, so a simple HTML page should work.

devy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just installed it but realized that our code cannot be shared to the cloud with a 3rd party before I open it. So I am trying to delete/uninstall Kite. Been wrestling with com.kite.KiteHelper for the last half an hour and still couldn't get it off my laptop memory. Tried "killall", "kill -9" and force quit from Activity Monitor. It kept reviving. And yes, I've check out the help site and this article in particular, didn't help: http://help.kite.com/article/22-how-do-i-quit-kite

Already disliking this software...

vitiral 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great, now uncle Sam knows everything I'm thinking while I program.

No thanks, I'd like to have SOME privacy. What I punch into my editor shouldn't be public until I git push.

citruspi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why are you encrypting my password (as opposed to hashing it)[0]?

[0]: http://i.imgur.com/59VOotU.png

jameside 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested in trying Kite for JavaScript when it's ready. Most of my company's code base is open source and we do a lot of open source work so Kite could be a nice fit one day. Trying out Kite on our actual code base for a week would be a real litmus test for me.

We're comfortable with sending our closed-source code to GitHub and our secrets to Google Cloud and AWS so I can see a path towards being more comfortable with uploading code to Kite as well. Some guarantees around privacy and the ability to delete our code and derived data could help assuage concerns.

In the meantime, perhaps you could highlight that the code uploading is opt-in on a per-file or per-directory basis (though one issue with this is that our open-sourcing system allows for private subdirectories within public parent directories and we'd want finer control)? I'd feel good about having clarity around what's uploaded and what's kept local.

In any case this seems really cool for open-source projects to start with. I'd definitely give the JavaScript version a try. And do you think you could add a VS Code extension?

bartkappenburg 2 days ago 2 replies      
Just an honest (legal) concern:

Is stack overflow ok with having their answers inside an IDE? This decreases the number of pageviews on SO for each installed client. Is that something you guys checked?

AstralStorm 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the meantime, get your code grabbed by major companies writing search engines.

Good luck with privacy.

Bonus points for accidental license violations.

jentulman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has your cache/proxy fallen over? I'm getting a 404 for the base domain

404 Not Found

Code: NoSuchKeyMessage: The specified key does not exist.Key: index.htmlRequestId: 759C55C7EA94F7D8HostId: 2i2HH8A3vp5KFvhHhHeoQ+6AiFL/kjd5iByJy6Ouo/pbKwE2xaKP8Es4SU3//1/P7M/5KWJXQv8=

simplehuman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why so much concern about the code ? GitHub, Travis all do the same...
welder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Useful HN Discussion from the original 1.0 launch:


tedmiston 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the launch! As any early beta user on public code, I was really impressed by Kite and my only concern was ability to use it on private codebases ie, work code. Glad to see that you've addressed that.

Does the Sublime integration support packages installed in the current virtual environment (that might not be publicly available)?

Aside: The pricing page is broken on iOS.

chinathrow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the launch.

Did you address the issue which came up multiple times last time when this was on HN about cloud indexed code by default?

sidmitra 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Linux version isn't available still.

Is it just on HN or are there very few people now who use Linux as their main dev machine? With some of the build quality of the new Dell Machines I would have assumed any dev tool would be Linux first, since almost everyone is using some form of 'nix on the servers.

I've never had much trouble installing the latest Ubuntu on any of XPS series(except the 'suspend' feature is weird).

EDIT: nvm i see from another comment that the Linux version is in testing. But still weird to see Mac devs outnumber Linux ones(or maybe they're just a vocal minority :-) )

Philipp__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks really cool. Anyone tried to see how it integrates with Emacs?
Sir_Substance 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting project. If I look at one of your code examples/snippets, realize that's exactly what I need and copy it verbatim, where does that leave me, legally?
li4ick 2 days ago 1 reply      
No GNU/Linux support? Well, remind me when you do.
jd20 2 days ago 0 replies      
On the pages for plugins (like Atom, Sublime, etc...) you might want a simple "how to install". Took me several minutes of confusion, to realize I should open up Atom and search for Kite from there. I kept thinking there should be a download link for the plugins, before remembering that's not how editor plugins get installed these days :)
shultays 2 days ago 0 replies      

 Most Popular Articles
and the first one

 How do I uninstall Kite?
I guess I will pass

AdamTheAnalyst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Upload all my code to your cloud first.... erm, hell no - uninstalled. Enterprise wont use this at all, way to big of a risk.
axonic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dear Kite, I really love this idea, but hell no I'm not using it yet. Here's why... I'll cut to the point here, so please forgive the bluntness as I mean no insult or accusation, just honest criticism, and I'm gonna try to cover a lot in as small a space as possible.

There's not even a mention on kite.com about how data is handled that I can find anywhere. What is the method of transport? What stands between skids and my code? The server my data goes to, is it shared VPS hardware waiting to get pwned by your neighbor, xtremecrackz.zyx or is it on private servers guarded by a three headed puppy named , 13 ninja, and biometric security? Does the page even mention this is a cloud service somewhere? I see support for VS Code, but not MSVS proper, emacs but not specifically GNU/Linux yet; Mac support but not Linux in spite of at least $4M USD in seed and 3 years of development (source: crunchbase [1])? The Windows download page gives instructions for bypassing SmartScreen warnings meaning your code signing certificate has no reputation with Microsoft yet if I understand correctly. Frankly, I didn't think "Adam Smith" was even a real person until I checked it out. LOL, sorry bro but it sounds kinda generic to someone skeptical I guess. Maybe you assume trust since you travel in the circles you do, but we nutjobs like stuff in writing, and trust assumptions without verification are bad practice anyhow -.-

(on trust) Your investor who may or may not provide the same or similar "Kite" software discussed in GCHQ leaks as a "correlates-anything" solution, Palantir Technologies, has been standing in the suspiciously shadowy center of a maelstrom in some circles. I like them supporting our warfighting - but not working against the people of the United States, or anyone's civilians for that matter, however that's an argument for the agencies they contracted with. I've watched my brothers bleed out defending the rights their software has helped undermine, I'm not sure how to feel about them at all right now. Do I want to give my code to their creepy software? No, not really, since I'd have to consider that if they got a contract they might, without even knowing the end use, build software to guide Terminators to hunt down and kill civilians who write bad code or wear plaid socks. Seriously though: eyebrow raised.

(advice) I would add more clear information about how this all works. A link to security answers should come up before the footer IMO, given the nature of this product. Going out of my way to look for it, I guess it seems like security was an afterthought. I can appreciate your blog post about security [2] and the main security page which links to that article (merge these?), but they fail to answer almost all of my questions. They imply that the service isn't really ready for the spotlight, but do not explicitly say anywhere to safeguard sensitive stuff or not to trust everything just yet, but it seems softly implied to me.

(bigFoilHat) This might sound far out to some, feel free to ignore or laugh, but if I were an evil puppet master, I'd have my cybersecurity and intelligence contractor who provides access to mission critical software or monetary capital for a startup attempt to leverage this relationship to gain information about code in the wild and specific targets' code using this service, perhaps to have software look for opportunities to steal parts of keys, suggest code changes to enable exploitation, forward copies of code from persons of interest to investigators. I might ask them to approach them as patriots in the interest of the GWOT and all things decent, to tacitly and deniably or perhaps even expressly cooperate with legally and morally grey-area surveillance operations. Perhaps if there is no cooperation or just to keep it quiet, I might suggest they infiltrate Kite.com and gain the ability to intercept data clandestinely by using their trust and rapport with company leadership. "Plz send all code to spies and disable security stuffz kthxbai" I can weaken my own PRNGs and send copies of my code for spooks to analyze by myself without assistance thanks. Again, I'm attempting to honestly characterize how it makes me feel, just sayin'. I simply have no way to even fool myself into thinking I can know what goes on with my data after it leaves my PC. How do I even build rules for my firewalls? What are the parent processes which need communication, on which ports, using what protocols? Which servers will it upload to? Can we blacklist certain destinations by region or other attributes? I think you need a more robust explanation on the site before us crazy people are satisfied.

(bigFoilHat Q) HN: what say you, am I just being paranoid here in thinking that users' analyzed code may end up being displayed on an alphabet soup agency wiki somewhere along with download links for tools to suprisebuttsecks us being passed out to every malware hoarding contractor who accidentally skated past the SF-86? Maybe I'm just having a bad bout of Stallman Syndrome. One might argue "99.99% of users' code will be useless fluff and bizcruft, who cares if they copy my der.py code?" but finding that 0.01% relevant signal in the noise is exactly what Palantir does for customers, isn't it? So how can I flippantly dismiss the notion?

(Q) Do you sell, gift, trade, share, or otherwise disclose or make available knowingly any information about users' personal data or source code, even if anonymized or generalized in reports and detached from identifying information, to other parties? Can/will/do these parties include your investors? Does Palantir Technologies store, use, or have access to at any time, our source code or any information about it or ourselves?

That said, it sounds cool as phrack and I would love to see this in many languages and editors, but only if it can be trusted somehow. I'll be watching and investigating, thanks for sharing this on HN,


[1] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kite-com/[2] https://kite.com/blog/thoughts-on-security

Please correct anything I am mistaken about, I admit I could be completely off the mark here.

peternicky 19 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the timeline for rolling out JavaScript support?
pkrefta 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are there any plans to support Vim/Neovim ?
theSoenke 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems really great on the first look, but uploading the code is a real issue. It is basically a keylogger
slang800 2 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone tried building something like this, but doing the analysis locally and just pulling from a documentation repository like Dash? I don't like the idea of uploading my code to their server, or using a proprietary tool, but I really want documentation lookups in my editor.
bryanapperson 1 day ago 0 replies      
This would be nice... however it does not work unless you upload your code. Code upload should be optional and only for enhanced functionality within your code base.
craigds 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd love to try this out, it looks amazing. But it's just not acceptable to send all the code to the cloud.

I'd love to use a self-hosted version though.

madisonmay 2 days ago 1 reply      
How close are you to a linux release?
nikhil13 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been using it on sublime. After adding kite is has started lagging, a lot. And that's when I have quite good configuration in my laptop. Hope you look into it
michaelmior 2 days ago 0 replies      
> it has twice the documentation coverage of any other tool.

Curious how they could possibly quantify that.

ezekg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks awesome. Congrats on the launch! I'd pay for a Ruby/Rails version of this.
Scaevolus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does this have anything to do with Kythe, "a pluggable, (mostly) language-agnostic ecosystem for building tools that work with code"?


js8 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish I had something like that for Haskell.. it could work by expected return type.
turtlebits 2 days ago 0 replies      
The documentation font for me is way too small, any way to make it bigger? You can see my IDE font size on the left.


partycoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
This program uploads your code to a central server.

Please flag this submission.

nuggien 2 days ago 0 replies      
not sure if this has been thought of before but why don't you just have kite cloud index open source and public code, and then have a separate local index for the user's project code. That way, autocompletes/help/doc searches first the user's project index (local), and then search the kite cloud for public/opensource code index.
stevemk14ebr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do C and C++ and ill pay
ayuvar 2 days ago 1 reply      
The built-in examples for method use are a really cool feature. I hate having to jump to MSDN, etc just to find an example snippet when the argument comments are unclear.
partycoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dash (Mac OS X), Velocity (Windows) and Zeal (Windows/Linux) do something similar. There are plugins for various editors.
replete 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks awesome but there is no way in hell I'm uploading my code to your cloud. Instantly violates NDAs.
hollander 2 days ago 0 replies      
Little Flocker and Little Snitch nightmare, this is.
invokesus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not working behind a http-proxy. Dealbreaker for me.
jnordwick 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the ideas in the search, and would definitely buy, except...

I work in finance, and source code in the cloud could get me some prison time.

CopyZero 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks great. Any plans to support notepad++?
falsedan 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Your connection is not secure


gigatexal 2 days ago 0 replies      
The website isn't intuitive on mobile. Do you have to do something special to get the Java client?
bcherny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome work! Any chance you can add TypeScript to the "Vote for a Language" menu?
plazma 2 days ago 0 replies      
This makes me learn python. Any plans for javascript and Vim plugin?
jMyles 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does the cloud connectivity requirement mean that kite cannot be used offline?
otto_ortega 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope they add support for Php7 soon. Seems like a very useful add-on.
fuzzythinker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is support of 10.9.x (Mavericks) on the roadmap?
gigatexal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Been waiting for this! Stoked to try it out.
xxcode 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whats wrong with a Google search?
alexnewman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems down
nikolay 2 days ago 0 replies      
The sidebar is way too obtrusive!
karsinkk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just spent an awful amount of time trying to uninstall Kite. There were two background processes: Kite Helper and Kite Engine Which showed up on Activity Monitor,and I could never get them to quit, each time I killed a process with the PID, a zombie would spawn up with a different PID. Eventually I killed them both by removing the Kite packages from the Cache in library, emptying the trash and then restarting my machine.Phew!Not to mention the slow autocomplete suggestions in Sublime Text 3. I think I'll just stick with my old setup.
Alcatel-Lucent releases source for 8th, 9th and 10th editions of Unix tuhs.org
360 points by adamnemecek  2 days ago   55 comments top 20
stonogo 2 days ago 6 replies      
The people complaining that this isn't free-as-in-freedom should remember that there's a lot of code in here that Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent does not and has never owned. 10th edition, specifically, was never 'distributed' and probably could not be because it contained gcc. You'll note these archives are not even hosted by the corporation. They STILL aren't 'distributing' any of this. There's no way to know a priori whether there's someone else's IP in here... the packaging method for these versions of unix was "Dennis makes a copy of a running system, including whatever happened to be on that disk."

So, this is a kind gesture made for the benefit of software archaeologists. Retroactively applying some kind of modern-hippie license would cost a tremendous amount of time and money.

tytso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Technically Acatel-Lucent didn't release source. They simply agreed not to sue over the source releases in question. The folks made the source available online have been holding onto those sources for years, and have been collecting copyright non-assertion letters from various companies who might have an IP interest source in the sources. Acatel-Lucent is just the most recent company who agreed that they aren't going to sue.

This is roughly the same as signing a quit-claim deed. How much significance it has depends on how strong your previous ownership interest was in whatever you are saying you won't sue over. (For example, if I sign a quit-claim assertion over the Brooklyn Bridge, it doesn't mean much. :-)

But given this was sufficient so that the people who had been keeping private copies of Unix source, confident enough that they wouldn't be sued into oblivion, it's certainly significant in that sense.

mindcrime 2 days ago 1 reply      
This isn't open source, as the "no commercial use" violates a central tenet (#6) of the Open Source Defintion[1].

I believe this would be closer to "Shared Source"[2] than anything else.

[1]: https://opensource.org/osd-annotated

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

bigato 2 days ago 0 replies      
Link to the original Alcatel-Lucent statement:https://media-bell-labs-com.s3.amazonaws.com/pages/20170327_...
Esau 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a little off topic but I want to take a moment and say thank you to Warren Toomey. He is responsible for TUHS and it is a wonder resource for people who enjoy UNIX.

Thank you sir!!

EamonnMR 2 days ago 0 replies      
Should be a boon to this project to create a git history of Unix:


(previous discussion:)https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10995483

f2f 2 days ago 0 replies      
The README indicates that there are files for 1st and 2nd Plan 9 editions but those are not made available. [1] I guess Lucent's lawyers still want to keep their rights over those...

I have a shrink-wrapped 2nd edition distribution with manuals, but no source :(


1: http://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Distributions/Research/Dan_Cross...

cat199 2 days ago 1 reply      

So.. Anyone have any insight on what these actually provide, feature wise over v7?

Have often wondered about these 'mystery unices'..

Am sure I will trawl the source archives.. but pointers would be useful.

t1m 2 days ago 3 replies      
Back when I was in University, we had an Amdahl mainframe with Unix running under VM. The directory structure included an awful lot of source code. I remember porting source for lex and yacc to my PC-XT running Borland's Turbo C. I assume it was licensed to Universities and source was included under an educational clause, though I'm not exactly sure.

I wonder which version of unix I was using. This would have been around December of '87.

fermigier 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good news, but it's not open source. The statement at the root of the projects says only:

"[...] that it will not assert its copyright rights with respect to any non-commercial copying, distribution, performance, display or creation of derivative works of Research Unix".

f2f 2 days ago 2 replies      
ahh, the gems one finds in old source code: /games/trek/trek.h:

 #define ever (;;)

aap_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
These are the operating systems the Blit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr1XXvSaVUQ) was used with.
loeg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Note that this is not available under a conventional open source license, but one of the "non-commercial use" variety. Don't rush to incorporate it into your products ;-).
sigjuice 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is it too soon to ask the question if it is possible to compile these and run them in some emulator?
Nokinside 2 days ago 0 replies      
Title should be: Nokia releases source for 8th, 9th and 10th editions of Unix.

Nokia bought Alcatel-Lucent over year ago. See for yourself: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

digi_owl 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Nokia Bell Laboratories

The paths of mergers and acquisitions are indeed meandering.

jlebrech 2 days ago 0 replies      
i'd love to see code standards comparison dones for similar code, how does open source stack up.
cmrdporcupine 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome... But only at least 25 years too late...
ScalaNovice 2 days ago 2 replies      
A better title would be:

Alcatel-Lucent makes the source code of 8th, 9th and 10th Editions of Unix public

Since the general usage of the word open source has implications about the a "free" license to use too.

VPNs Are Absolutely a Solution to a Policy Problem standardnotes.org
381 points by mobitar  1 day ago   250 comments top 50
mundo 1 day ago 15 replies      
Well allow me to retort.

This article is saying, basically, that the tendency of ISPs to try to monetize user data is a natural consequence of capitalism, and trying to curb that tendency with legislation is ineffectual compared to the real solutions (fight monopolies, and everyone use a VPN).

I don't buy it. Roughly the same argument could be made about virtually any regulation. "Corporations are incentivized to pollute, so there's no point trying to stop them. Buy a water filter." "People will always try to get heroin, so there's no point in restricting it. Get some naloxone." Damn near every regulation is an attempt to counteract some profit-motivated tendency which is the unfortunate consequence of capitalism. And as regulations go, user data is a lot easier to regulate than drugs or pollution.

"Just get a VPN" might be good advice for individuals, but it is emphatically not the society-wide solution to data privacy. We can and should continue to fight for good legislation that protects us.

wavefunction 1 day ago 4 replies      
The only thing is, I shouldn't have to pay for a VPN to continue enjoying some measure of privacy when I'm paying for the ISP's service. This is just some MBA's "great idea" to "leverage previously untapped revenue sources" rather than a real need by struggling firms grasping at any life-line.

It's disgusting, and I'm disgusted (_yet again_) by the mercenary Republican Party. They are declaring war on me and my loved ones and the vast majority of our fellow Americans and anyone else unfortunate to have to use an internet connection in the US (and live under the rest of their insane policies).

For the record, I signed up for a personal VPN two weeks ago because this anti-consumer outcome was assured with the current party in power in the US.

eterm 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm not sure how VPNs are a solution.

Politically, it means that people who should be getting angry about reduced privacy are "comfortable" with the fact they can work around it, while a new generation grows up with fewer and fewer expectations of what privacy means. It's short term protection in return for normalization of anti-private behaviours and long term damage.

But I also have a problem with it technically:

Issue: You don't trust ISPs to not sell browsing history.

Solution? Provision a virtual server, set-up a VPN and tunnel.

But your server still has a service provider. It might not be literally tied to your billing information but that was never going to be anyway.

You've shifted which ISP gets to sell the data from "home provider" to "virtual server provider", but there is still browsing data isn't there and it's just as valuable from a private single-use VPN as it is from your home connection.

alistproducer2 1 day ago 1 reply      
So I was a call-in on NPR today (http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2017/03/29/internet-privacy-cong...) that discussed the ISP privacy issue. I brought up the crowd funding initiatives to buy Republican's info as well as the Democrat's unwillingness to make use of this issue. The call-ins were unanimously against what the congress did.

edit:Here's the GofundMe trying to raise money to buy their Internet history. Something tells me this dude is going to run off with the money though


slg 1 day ago 1 reply      
>Other articles have argued that VPNs are not a solution to a policy problem, because you cant necessarily trust a VPN provider, or some VPN providers dont encrypt your data properly. That may be the case, but thats an easily solvable problem. And there are no monopolies on VPNs. This is something that a market economy can solve in a year.

It has been a few years since my Econ 101 class, but I suggest the author Google "market for lemons". Users have no way to verify the intentions of VPN providers as there is natural information asymmetry. Trust is not an issue that market economies have come up with a good solution to fix. The solution we often use ironically enough happens to be policy and regulation. So maybe this is a policy problem.

loteck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everybody is right. It doesn't have to be either-or.

You can select a paid VPN service that helps protect you from specific adversaries. You can roll your own VPN on your own VPS that helps protect you in some use cases.

You can, and should, advocate for good privacy policy.

nawitus 1 day ago 3 replies      
"That may be the case, but thats an easily solvable problem."

So, how is that problem solved? I can't see what VPN companies are really doing inside their stack. They might very well be logging everything and I have no way to find out other than to "trust them" - so there's no real market mechanism to choose a VPN provider which doesn't log anything.

I suppose it could be in the contract.. so does VPN contracts have a clause like that, and how is it enforced?

danellis 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Companies selling your data is nothing newFacebook and Google have been doing it for decades."

Is there any evidence for this? I'm pretty sure that in the case of Google, at least, it's a flat-out lie. In fact, they state in massive letters: "We do not sell your personal information to anyone." (https://privacy.google.com/how-ads-work.html) Who would they even sell it to? They're at an advantage having that data themselves.

int_19h 1 day ago 2 replies      
Allow me to rephrase this entire debate in terms that might sound more familiar.

Point: Locked doors and a shotgun under the bed is not a solution to the violent crime problem. We also need laws, and police to enforce them.

Counterpoint: Locked doors and a shotgun under the bed is absolutely a solution to the violent crime problem. You can't rely on laws, because they can easily go away with a stroke of the pen.

jkern 1 day ago 0 replies      
Instead of using a VPN I think I'm just going to create a script that randomly requests various websites 24/7. So don't cut off the signal to your ISP just drown it in a lot of meaningless noise
Nightshaxx 1 day ago 0 replies      
As great as this is, it brings up two problems:

1. VPNs are slow: They will never get widespread adoption because people pay for internet speeds and want them. Not to mention many people use internet that is so slow that VPNs are just not viable. I try to use a VPN at least when I go on public WiFi, but I've been to hotels were the service was so slow that the internet would just not work while using a VPN.

2. The article encourages ad blocking. The problem is that a lot of the web relies on ad revenue. Content doesn't just produce itself without funding. Yes, most content creators are finding alternate means of getting money, but we still need to keep in mind that this is an issue.

Therefore, while VPNs and Adblockers can help, I just don't see them as viable enough strategy to take down the ISPs. You are both slowing the user's ability to get content and the creator's ability to make it. Yes, the privacy focused community can use these tools, but everyone knew we liked privacy already. It isn't until the mainstream users speak up or do something that we can get stuff done.

silveira 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please, at least give credit the artist creator of the illustration, Josan Gonzalez.


Lagged2Death 1 day ago 0 replies      
And its so damn lucrative that ISPs are crying, No fair! I want a piece of that too! Are they not entitled to pursue such an opportunity?

If they give me the broadband access for free then I might feel some sympathy for this line of argument. At 97% profit margins, not so much.

Funny how "entitlement" can be a positive thing when it describes a rich, powerful entity but a negative thing when it describes someone or something more ordinary.

manor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Classic libertarian fallacy: every resource should be managed by markets and every problem solved by the marketplace. Except, the Internet is not a commodity, its infrastructure: its not a car, its the road. For consumer fluffsure, go the libertarian route (shop around), but for things that really matter, like infrastructure and healthcare, dont look for trivial market-based solutions
pkulak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know of some kind of appliance I can sit in front of my router that will put all the traffic in my house through a VPN? I run OpenWRT, so I think it's possible to do it there, but I think it would be easier to make it it's own thing.

Whitelisting would be nice too. Netflix video traffic, for example, would be nice to not put through another hop.

Overtonwindow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just getting a VPN is like a teacher telling a bullied student to "just ignore and move away". Sounds great in theory, but really doesn't work for everyone in the real world. Some day, when wireless solutions get really good, or the cable monopolies are broken, pro-privacy will be a selling point.
hluska 1 day ago 0 replies      
I enjoyed this article until I came to this paragraph:

> Other articles have argued that VPNs are not a solution to a policy problem, because you cant necessarily trust a VPN provider, or some VPN providers dont encrypt your data properly. That may be the case, but thats an easily solvable problem. And there are no monopolies on VPNs. This is something that a market economy can solve in a year.

That's where the author lost me. Building a secure VPN is different than your run of the mill SAAS - it's a difficult security problem, and an incredibly complicated user problem.

On the security side, it isn't hard to make a mistake that will give motivated parties the hole they need to crack the VPN. On a business side, it's hard to know which companies have received lucrative deals (or national security letters) from three letter agencies. And from a communications side, it's damned near impossible to let the whole world know that VPN Provider A collects data for a three letter agency.

Sorry to say it folks, but this is an area where we either need wholesale political change, or technological change. I'm Canadian, so I can't help you with the first one and I'm not even remotely qualified to help with the second.

haddr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Couldn't disagree more with this article. VPN is a solution to a policy problem until policy makers forbid VPN to enforce their core idea in the first place. (e.g. see United Arab Emirates for some restrictions of VPN use)
Exuma 1 day ago 5 replies      
In my home, Comcast business uses IPv6. So far, no VPN supports this, and I haven't found proper answers on how to handle this?

I've heard I can just "disable IPv6" on my Mac, but I don't know the full implications of this. If anyone has any input I'd appreciate this, because then I would use a VPN all the time.

EDIT Sorry I meant to type VPN not VPS, stupid typo.

JoshMnem 1 day ago 0 replies      
> "You own the computer from which all your valuable data is generated."

That might be true at the moment, if you're using a good computer, but many computers do not provide full access to the system, including: Android, iOS, Windows 10. (Almost all mobile devices block root access as much as they can.)

Watch out for attempts to appify the WWW and reduce the ability of consumers to block ads and tracking: AMP, FB Instant Articles, etc.

One of the most dangerous threats to privacy is the increasing restriction on access to devices' hardware and software. If it isn't stopped, there won't be any way to block tracking.

lexicality 1 day ago 2 replies      
I like that they say "Dont use sites that force you to disable your ad blocker" and then link to a Wired article.
TheRealPomax 1 day ago 0 replies      
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't ISP already monetizing on my data by the fact that I _literally pay them for their data services_? So no: an ISP going "I want a piece of that behavioural profiling ads money" is most absolutely not reasonable.

If you want to be in the ad business, stop being an ISP and go into the ad business, but if you're providing a service and that service is internet-for-pay, and we pay you the money you have said it costs to use your service, then it is not reasonable for you to complain that there is more money to be had, and you want all of it.

biafra 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are telephone providers in the US allowed to sell the data about who you called when, how often and how long? If not, why not? Should be possible to monetize that.
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not a solution, rather a workaround. VPNs reduce performance, and they aren't free either. The idea of privacy abusers is to to tax those who value it.
twhb 1 day ago 0 replies      
ISPs should calculate how much this will make them then charge us that much to opt out. Wins all around - the ISP makes every dime they can, privacy-conscious customers aren't abused, unconscious customers don't need to pay more.

Hell, take it a step farther - sell VPN-like anonymization. Think about it, your ISP is technically able to do it far better than any VPN: no impact on speed, no impact on latency, no software required, wouldn't miss any types of traffic, and increases anonymity just by having more customers.

If ISPs don't realize that they can make money selling privacy then they're just bad businesses.

blitmap 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I might be a little outdated on my knowledge of VPNs, but wouldn't they throw inefficiency into how your traffic is routed around the internet? It's not like you're going for the most efficient exit out of the VPN closest to your intended target, simply the one advertised as a gateway.

VPNs may be a solution to privacy issues, but the whole Internet will be worse for it if everyone were to use one.

I wish we could quantify how much electricity is wasted just routing things around inefficiently from VPNs. How much infrastructure must be upgraded because of the growing use of them. Maybe this would incent ISPs to avoid selling analytic data on its customers?

joshuas 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a reason that instead of using a VPN to hide our traffic we don't just have an app that surfs randomly around the net in the background ruining the usefulness of the data collected in the first place?
Joeri 1 day ago 1 reply      
VPN's are a way for you to choose which provider's or country's policies you want to be under. Obviously this can only happen as long as the powers that be allow it. It is trivial to forbid or block all non-backdoored vpn's for example.

A question which I find interesting is why we can't make these policy choices in the real world. For example, choose which country's social safety net you want and be taxed accordingly. It may be impractical, but are rivers and mountain slopes (aka borders) really the best way to draw a line between two different policies?

peeters 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use a VPN and agree it's a solution, but imagine this same line of thinking were applied to telephone lines. What if tomorrow, we removed all regulation preventing telephone providers from scraping your conversations or selling them to the highest bidder.

How fast would the market be able to respond, and what kind of damage would be done in the meantime?

We regulate based on the public interest. It was in the public interest to place limits on telecom. I don't see any reason to treat the Internet differently.

Glyptodon 1 day ago 0 replies      
How do I do know what VPN to trust? I guess getting my own server and provisioning everything myself is the answer? I'm sure that'll work fine for average Joe.
myrandomcomment 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am just going to write an app to pull random (safe) items every few minutes and poison all the data. Even better, I will have it hit news sites all over the world in different languages and load Amazon and eBay from other countries also. Hum, why I am at it I will have it swap the web browser agent IDs. Hey this could be a fun project.
dreamcompiler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Completely agree. All we need now is for a major player to step up and say "here's our VPN cloud and it's free to use and we guarantee it's encrypted and won't keep logs. From now on, all our devices will use it by default unless you opt out." I imagine meetings are already being held at Apple to discuss this.
nu2ycombinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am trying to understand here, what more information ISPs can get other than they have access now? Does this policy let them do man middle attack? Can they access my SSL internet data too?
codezero 1 day ago 1 reply      
My vpn doesn't prevent my cell provider from selling my location info.
doggydogs94 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just wish that my bandwidth did not drop so bad when I use a VPN.
peteyPete 1 day ago 2 replies      
Federal statute known as 18 USC Section 1702 makes it illegal to open correspondence addressed to someone else. I don't know that the mail services keep statistics of where mail comes from and to, although they likely do, but regardless, they don't get to know what the content is. They don't get to know what I buy from Amazon.. But they do know I shop at Amazon because they see the boxes. ISPs might be able to know you hit these servers but they shouldn't be profiling you based on all your browsing data.

If another person can't open your mail, then why is it so hard for lawmakers to understand that this adds up to the same? You route my mail/traffic, doesn't give you the right to spy into the contents of it, to know what I buy, what media I consume, what my hobbies are, how often I check my bank balances, whether or not I'm left or right leaning based on the news I consume, whether or not I'm shopping for internet at competing ISPs... List goes on. Imagine the depth of the information an ISP can build on you if they have all your browsing information.

The lack of respect shown towards the people who have made these companies possible by buying their services is appalling. And the fact that they keep competition away is even worse.

Provide your services and stop trying to suck in every penny from every potential revenue stream possible.

To make a comparison, just because my car has GPS, doesn't mean the manufacturer should track and sell my location and build a megacorp ads company to interrupt my radio and force me to listen to ads for businesses in my direct vicinity.

Just because you make shoes, and you could integrate piezoelectric energy capture devices, doesn't mean you should integrate tracking devices into people's shoes so you can sell the data to who ever wants it.

Just because you provide a service and because you've squashed competition by lobbying for everything which gives you monopoly, doesn't mean you should drop all sense of right and wrong.

There's countless business models which could abuse data collection and make a few extra bucks, but they don't. Because you don't always have to be a dick. Because at the end of the day, a businesses image should still be important because it is USUALLY what decides if consumers will keep on buying from them or not.. Unless there's no competition....

This by itself is big enough although some will argue its not a big deal. But once you remove all protections, you have no clue how far they'll go and once they go there, its harder to backtrack.

matt_wulfeck 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not a solution for one simple reason: policymakers can create a "policy" that simply makes them illegal. They don't have to defeat them on technological grounds.
Stephen-E 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any recommendations for a secure, fast and reliable VPN service? I'm in the US. Use would be for privacy, especially in the face of yesterday's vote.
ebbv 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article is really bad. On the one hand it says government is unreliable and therefore it's hopeless to regulate. Then it immediately argues we need to break the ISP monopolies (which is true.) But why are there monopolies? It is because the ISPs collude not because there is regulation stopping new ISPs. Google and Verizon both dipped their toes in and gave up on providing wired access to the home.

The only way to break the monopolies is with government regulation forcing them to share the lines, because running the lines is the very costly part that stops new ISPs from competing.

spangry 1 day ago 1 reply      
While using VPNs might protect your privacy in the short-run, it's just a continuation of the privacy-invasion arms race. And it's kinda hard to win a tit-for-tat war when your opponent has an unlimited supply of 'tat', and a whole bunch of armed, well-trained dudes they can send round to your house when you don't comply with their newest rule.

- The US government tries to restrict 'strong' crypto --> people print PGP source code on t-shirts and the government eventually has to accept SSL/TLS.

- The government starts capturing information directly off devices (using regular search warrants etc. --> people start using encryption (e.g. truecrypt, veracrypt) and large device makers respond to consumer concerns by encrypting by default.

- The government starts MiTM'ing everyone's traffic at the ISP and online service provider (e.g. google, microsoft) level, using their newly created pseudo-court, secret warrant process (FISA) --> people start using VPNs.

- The government starts talking about key escrow, banning encryption.....

You can't eradicate a disease by just treating the symptoms as they pop up (in ever increasing severity). If you do this, you'll die. You have to attack the disease directly (and, in many cases, first convince people that they really are ill). So far, we've made one attempt at the direct approach by 'engaging in public discourse'. It's clear this is not effective in this case.

I doubt protesting in the streets would make much of a difference either, if the lead up to the Iraq war is anything to go by. Consider these two quotes from the previous thread (the second is mine), as just one example of the many possible actions that could be taken:

"The Video Privacy Protection Act was passed after Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's rental history was leaked to a newspaper."


"I've always liked the idea of using the copious public video of these politicians to train voice and face recognition NNs, specifically targeting anti-privacy politicians. Maybe even sell pre-made raspberry pis with all of this stuff preloaded for journalists to scatter around places that politicians congregate.

I think it's only fair that these folks get to be the first ones to live in the kind of world they are creating. And none of them should have a problem with any of this, because I'm certain none of them ever do anything wrong and therefore have nothing to hide."

Although one always tends to like one's own ideas, I think this idea has merit, because:

- It's low effort compared to organising protests and then getting everyone to take to the streets

- It directly attacks the source and (assuming you aren't sent to a Federally funded leisure resort for your efforts), creates a 'heads I win, tails you lose' situation: they either pass laws to stop this kind of privacy invasion, or we end up with a long-term selective pressure against anti-privacy politicians. Everyone has secrets...

- It directly educates the public about their "illness" (through example). It shows them exactly how their life could be in the near future if they don't start paying serious attention to privacy issues. If a bunch of angry nerds can pull it off, imagine what the NSA and CIA are capable of...

The time for 'reasoned public discourse' and 'teching around the problem' is well and truly over. It doesn't hurt to do these things, but it does no good in the long-run either. More drastic measures are required.

mtgx 1 day ago 2 replies      
At least until they overturn the net neutrality rules, too, and then the ISPs will be able to throttle VPN services to make them unusable. Or perhaps they'll ask them to pay more for the "fast line", and VPNs may get too expensive for most people.

How do you solve the problem without policy then?

XnoiVeX 1 day ago 0 replies      
How many of you actually read the original FCC document? :-)
893helios 1 day ago 0 replies      
Technology is rarely a solution for a socio-ecnomic issue.
clvx 1 day ago 4 replies      
Ok, can you route every connection(besides the vpn one) from an iphone to a vpn gateway?

If it isn't possible, anyone can explain why?

norea-armozel 1 day ago 1 reply      
In regards to the question of ISPs selling browsing history, how much of that data outside of law enforcement has ever led to profitable sales from consumers? Like honestly, I've never ever been swayed by a web advert. If anything, they've made me disgusted with the advertiser and made me delay any purchases. Plus, most of the web ads as they are now are just boring repeats of the same product I've searched on Amazon or Google. No related products, no accessories (I bought a telescope recently so I find it odd that no one is trying to hawk eye pieces or filters for the coming solar eclipse). Just the same dumb product I've ALREADY BOUGHT! Like I can't imagine the profit margins on data mining are all that significant if my intuition holds true.
logicallee 1 day ago 1 reply      
I advocated for Google to please do this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13983468

I'll quote it in full:

>Hey Google, when all email providers sucked you fixed it with Gmail, you run a DNS at, and now -- now, I think you know what you need to do now :)

>(I personally recommend you also do a web-based proxy, because who is going to filter https://www.google.com now or in the future?)

>I believe in you. You can do it!

>Counter this chilling effect today - and show more adwords as a result. (There is no irony in this statement. I mean from web sites that opt into adwords, not from selling VPN traffic logs.)


Google, pay attention: step up to the plate. Please!

nickpsecurity 1 day ago 0 replies      
The author screws up big on the VPN vs government issue. Let me illustrate the points made.

1. The government's laws/policies are a threat to users' privacy.

2. You can currently use VPN's to protect your privacy.

3. People point out that the VPN's might lie to you willingly or under compulsion by LEO's w/ existing surveillance legislation. The same LEO's that Snowden leaks say compelled secret backdoors in all kinds of products and services.

4. "That may be the case, but it's an easily solvable problem."

Lol. If it was so easy, we wouldn't have a surveillance state or it would be well-regulated based on GAO's reports. Instead, we do have one, VPN providers might be compelled by it, market choice doesn't change that, and you're still essentially hoping via a numbers game that you don't pick a bad one. This isn't even considering the fact that ISP's beholden to US TLA's might ban VPN's or require their assistance for decryption/tracking.

The VPN's could be a decent solution if a very popular one was a non-profit in a non-surveillance state with protections for consumers built into its charter, contract, whatever. People who were previously shown trustworthy [enough] would have to operate it. The endpoints and monitoring would have to be strong. It would need enough traffic from each country to obscure the users. If it wasn't getting enough, they could pull trick from high-assurance's book to do fixed-rate, fixed-sized transmission constantly from the apps. That would get expensive on bandwidth side, though.

So, it's doable to make VPN's useful until law or ISP policies start killing them. Just hard to evaluate who if any are doing all the above to be trustworthy enough. For now, you're throwing dice for a probabilistic level of protection that's hard to quantify.

thrillgore 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, they're not. They're a temporary hack.

I really believe that engineers live with the belief that "We can work around politics or route around corruption" that only makes us better off. There are many more people who don't have the knowledge to work around it. No amount of engineering is going to educate or move a change in policy. You're essentially saying "I've got mine, so fuck you."

With that being said, given that VPNs are the only practical chance until the software developers of the world start running for Congress, I have gone ahead and paid ipredator for the next two years.

tomjen3 1 day ago 0 replies      
VPNs are one solution, it may even be the only possible solution, but I really can't see it as a good solution.

It is super important to keep in mind of course that there may indeed be no good solution, or it may be that the good solution is politically, economically or otherwise unfeasible. In this case a good solution is technically very feasible, but that may often not be the case.

innocentoldguy 1 day ago 3 replies      
I prefer to tunnel my traffic through an SSH tunnel. VPNs are OK too, but SSH does what I want, and I can control it.
Night Shift compared to f.lux justgetflux.com
427 points by mattiemass  2 days ago   199 comments top 38
metafunctor 2 days ago 5 replies      
One thing I find quite annoying about f.lux is that it doesn't just have a simple custom schedule setting. Night Shift has that, and it's great.

I live very far north. In the winter the sun is up for just a few hours, and in the summer it's down for just a few. Obviously, I don't want to follow the sun for my sleeping rhythm, and exactly nobody over here does.

Most of the time, I go to bed based on the clock. We use lots of artificial lighting in the winter, and window blinds in the summertime. I'd like to simply configure when I expect to go to bed, and possibly when I expect to wake up. With f.lux, I have to try to find a location on the globe where the sun matches my actual sleeping cycle, and hope that it stays that way (it doesn't).

I did notice that there's a new "far from the equator" setting in the latest version, but I don't understand what it does and how it's supposed to help. Just give me a schedule setting.

craigc 2 days ago 2 replies      
It seems like the replies here are very much in defense of Apple which I am not surprised about, but I do not really consider it to be warranted.

I have been using f.lux for years and it has definitely had a huge impact on me. I don't have any scientific data to back up my claims, but f.lux is a fantastic product.

When you consider that f.lux released a side loading version of their app on iOS and then Apple threatened to remove their developer license, and then after it was pulled, released their own ripped off version of the software that does not work as well, you can understand how they might be upset about that. I understand that is business, but as someone who has used both I find f.lux to be completely superior.

Apple probably should have bought f.lux and then integrated it into their products, but instead decided to do it themselves. I'm not saying the software is earth shattering, but they spent years on the problem, and it feels as if Apple implemented their version in a few days.

I think Apple should open up the screen/display APIs on iOS to allow f.lux and other similar apps to be installed. I would happily pay for it rather than use night shift.

smnscu 2 days ago 6 replies      
One important advantage with Night Shift is that it doesn't mess up YouTube videos. I get weird artefacts with f.lux when watching videos, and overall Night Shift seems to perform slightly better as well. I'm sad for f.lux but for now I stopped using it.

edit: I don't get the artefacts with NS but I do get the same white border on the mouse cursor after watching a video full-screen for some time

Razengan 2 days ago 4 replies      
I think Apple may have deliberately chosen to go for a less severe difference in colors, so as to get more people onboard the general idea of colors shifting through the day, at first. Expect it to evolve in a future macOS/iOS (hopefully along with the introduction of a true dark mode.)

f.lux, while more effective, may be off-putting to most people. The medicinal orangeness was a bit sickening to me when I first tried f.lux, to the point that I didn't want to use it, though I warmed up to it later.

orthecreedence 2 days ago 6 replies      
Sort of on-topic, I've been using Redshift <https://github.com/jonls/redshift> for years and love it (both windows and linux).
cyberferret 2 days ago 4 replies      
I've used f.lux for years and I really like it, as I have noticed my sleep patterns have improved during that time.

However, I do think that the transition is sometimes really too quick. I can be working away, deep in 'flow' and I will alarmingly perceive the screen going darker/changing a couple of times over the evening. It almost feel like I am passing out or getting a precursor to a migraine sometimes, with the change, which is quite jarring.

The other thing is the constant annoying notifications of "You are going to be awake in 'x' hours". Well, actually, no - If I am up and coding until 2am, then chances of me being awake at 6am when you expect me to is just not on.

I also wish they would have an 'emergency awake' function, so that when I jump on to the keyboard to fix a server outage at 5am after many hours away sleeping, that it would immediately go to full brightness there and then, rather than wait until 0630 as per normal. If I am active at that time after a long break, I am NOT going back to sleep and I have to have full illumination of all those red signals on my server dashboard! :)

keithkml 2 days ago 7 replies      
Pretty sure this is all snake oil both f.lux and Night Shift. I don't doubt that blue light affects our brains. But I see no evidence that color filter software has any impact.

If the issue is the number of blue photons per square millimeter of our retinas, why isn't it being discussed as such? This means screen brightness and distance from your face would have a much bigger impact than a color filter.

I personally think the f.lux team knows this and that's why their FAQ is devoid of any questions about effectiveness.

FWIW the only person I've known to use f.lux is an insomniac who barely ever sleeps and is always tired.

DCKing 2 days ago 1 reply      
When it comes to blue light filtering, all I want is something with good defaults (for me) that works unobtrusively.

My first days of using Night Shift has worked exactly like that. I don't particularly care about configurability of the tool (I live on a pretty well supported latitude I guess). Moreover Night Shift presents significantly less artifacting in videos based on my brief experience. Transitions are also far less jarring than they are with f.lux.

So yeah, I guess f.lux will be the better choice for those who really care about the details of their blue light filter. Night Shift, like LineageOS' LiveDisplay, Windows' Night Time and GNOME's Night Light, take a simpler approach that will get you 98% of the way there in a few clicks, which should be good enough for most people.

ClassyJacket 2 days ago 0 replies      
Night Shift lets you set a custom schedule. Somehow, insanely, Flux does not. It's the only thing I want, so Night Shift automatically wins. I don't know why they're so stubborn on that issue, I would've even paid a few bucks for a "premium" version with that feature, but now Apple is eating their lunch.

Bye forever, Flux.

lighttower 2 days ago 0 replies      

>To be fair, we thought it was pretty easy after our first year making f.lux (Night Shift today looks a whole lot like our first version). We figured we'd solved the blue light problem and that there just wasn't much left to do. We couldn't have been more wrong. Every person has individual needs, and those needs are different based on your sensitivity to light, your own chronobiology (imagine early birds and night owls), your own schedule, and other factors too. Those needs change across seasons, and over your lifetime. Today our approach is different: we are working every day to understand how light affects human biology, not strictly sleep, and we are constantly applying what we learn to updates and new features for f.lux.

jluxenberg 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you use and love f.lux, consider donating!


joemaller1 2 days ago 2 replies      
My life doesn't necessarily fit into a sunrise-sundown bracketed timeframe. I regularly need to postpone dimming until later in the evening, and then return to full color brightness before dawn. F.lux refuses to do this. Night Shift (at least on iOS) does.
russdill 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gnome also has a similar feature now, night light


psiclops 2 days ago 0 replies      
As I have my daytime f.lux setting at 5500k, I don't plan to change over. I prefer to have the blue light reduced slightly all the time
lucisferre 2 days ago 3 replies      
I love f.lux but I always end up uninstalling it because of how it messes up with games when they are running. Performance tanks and I get tired of switching out and killing f.lux every time.
killjoywashere 2 days ago 2 replies      
They are both terrible compared to Quicksilver's little brother, Nocturne. Nocturne can turn a Mac full red monochrome. Coming from the military, it's amazing.
int_19h 2 days ago 5 replies      
Does anyone have a good suggestion for an Android app that does blue filtering, and:

1. Doesn't require root.

2. Actually filters blue out, instead of adding red (i.e. a pure black screen should remain pure black).

The built-in feature in Nougat previews was great, until they removed it...

lmg643 2 days ago 2 replies      
I must be out of step with the times as I'm surprised by the favorable comments about Night Shift.

For my eyes, the f.lux nighttime adjustment and configurability is great. at work, i use it during daytime hours as well, helps greatly with eye strain.

Night Shift is like an introduction of the concept to a mass audience, surely it has a positive benefit for the uninitiated but there's a lot missing for folks who rely on it. Android is much better with multiple applications available to control this.

I thought it would have been a good gesture for apple to buy f.lux and get the "market leader", and some built in goodwill, as opposed to just copying them, but I guess such is life when you are the largest corporation in the world.

dharma1 2 days ago 2 replies      
Somewhat related - any physical filters for backlit eInk readers? The leds on my kindle paperwhite are pretty blue
jeron 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are the charts for Night Shift on MacOS? The dataset provided at the very bottom is for the iPad Pro...
rocky1138 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Our circadian system is actually not reacting to small changes in "color". Instead, it is mostly reacting to the "amount" of light. Our eyes are extremely good at distinguishing little shades of color from each other, but this is a different system than the one that drives circadian rhythms."

Is there any data to support this?

owenversteeg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've found something pretty interesting myself when using redshift. If I set the display directly to 3000K or so, it looks really weird. Same if I fade from 6700->3000K. But if I set it to 1000K and then to 3000K, it looks fine. Anybody else do this to "prepare" themselves?
Brendinooo 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's a good enough argument for a current user like me to keep using it, but I don't know if the benefit is tangible enough for most people (or me on a new system someday) to seek out an alternative to Night Shift.

Makes me wonder if the placebo effect would come into play here as well.

AJ007 2 days ago 0 replies      
For all of the squabbles between Night Shift and f.lux, both are doing a great job compared to what we had before. I am sure they will both continue to improve and become standard in all platforms

I am a lot more concerned about street lights, which are headed in the exact wrong direction: https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-adopts-guidance-reduce-harm-hig...

jfoldager 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is already lots of blue light in my room, when I use a computer at night. I don't see how it would help to remove all the blue light from the screen, when the room is still bathed in it. I use quite warm light, and have it even warmer in the evening, but still, the standard settings for Night Shift looks very orange to my eyes.

I would love if Night Shift could just shift the white balance to match the surrounding. Does anyone have experience with True Tone on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro? I imagine would work like that.

FrozenVoid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've just turned the blue/magenta/cyan sliders in monitor controls to 0%(Blue components in images appear as black/grey pixels). Blue light damages the retina and messes up circadian cycles:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/
samsamoa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any hints on getting f.lux to work in sync with a Hue bulb on macOS?
jaxn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Windows 10 has a similar feature called Night Light. I have it set to Sunset/Sunrise. The $49 Kindle Fire has a similar feature.

I appreciate the work f.lux did, but this is going to be a core feature of every OS now, and none of them bought their tech to do it. That is a tough spot to be in, but it is probably time to start winding the project down.

philliphaydon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any scientific claims to blue light? Or real studies? I tried using flux for a month and ended up with sore eyes which I don't get when I don't use flux. So I don't know if this blue thing is a legit thing or not. My flat mate says he sleeps better. But I just get sore eyes.
dayaz36 2 days ago 0 replies      
How does f.lux make money?
michelb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd say a big plus of f.lux is that it works on my 2009 mac pro and 2011 macbook pro, while Night Shift does not.
nimish 2 days ago 0 replies      
I noticed a massive battery life improvement after removing f.lux and using night shift/night light on mac and windows.

Far less stuttering as well. Whatever f.lux is doing is not worth the janky implementation.

sanguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I loved f.lux, but now I don't need it. Just like many other utilities before the good ones eventually get adopted as base functionality.

They should have sold it when they could have....

Udo_Schmitz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I tried f.lux on the Mac and was very disappointed with the results. To me it looked like a red film overlaid on the screen. Distracting and ugly. Night Shift on iOS looks much more natural.
jorvi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Night Shift:

> Doesn't apply to projectors or TVs

> Doesn't mess with fluidity (turning Flux on or off gives massive framedrops

> Doesn't give weird artefacts on YouTube

Flux devs also ignored all (!) my e-mails about fixing how Flux reads its settings. You can directly edit the settings file via Terminal, but Flux ignores all the values you set and simply sticks to the ones set in the app itself.. even after a restart of the app or a reboot.

nice_byte 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've no idea why people use this type of software. I tried it a couple times, and it just annoys the hell out of me. It makes the colors on my monitor all kinds of messed up, and doesn't have any positive effect whatsoever on the tiredness of my eyes. If anything, the effect is negative: the messed up color makes text hard to read.
turrini 2 days ago 0 replies      
Or you can go to astronomy mode (linux):

xcalib -green .1 0 1 -alter

xcalib -blue .1 0 1 -alter

kartickv 2 days ago 0 replies      
How does Night Shift's reddest setting compare with Flux?
Ubers Anthony Levandowski Invokes Fifth Amendment Rights in Waymo Suit nytimes.com
344 points by dshore  15 hours ago   155 comments top 14
bradleyjg 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Note that while a negative inference may not be drawn from the invocation of one's fifth amendment rights in a criminal case, in a civil case a negative inference can be drawn.


apsec112 14 hours ago 5 replies      
For reference, here's a handy flowchart on Fifth Amendment law by lawyer Nathan Burney: http://lawcomic.net/guide/?p=2897
Animats 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is going to get complicated, and probably nasty. The interests of Uber and Levandowski no longer align. That's not unusual, although it usually comes up more in criminal cases.

Amusingly, Google's employment contract, which specifies binding arbitration for employee-employer disputes, may have backfired on Google. Google did take Levandowski to arbitration. But Google can't bind Uber via their employee arbitration contract. So now Google is suing Uber, and Uber and Levandowski are arguing that Google can't sue because it insisted on arbitration in the employment contract.

minimaxir 14 hours ago 3 replies      
One of the authors of this piece posted an amusing court transcript on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mikeisaac/status/847568150916878336
Steeeve 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Anthony Levandowski isn't just a schlub caught up in a big lawsuit. He's the guy who's self-funded startup got bought for $680M. He's facing a lawsuit from Google.

Did anyone have any sort of impression that he was going to cooperate out of the gate? There's a better chance that he drops his pants and asks for a spanking.

Yes, the 5th Ammendment can be used as negative inference in a civil suit. Whatever. This isn't testimony. This is discovery. It's years before this gets in front of a jury and it won't matter one iota when all is said and done.

This is a marathon of a fight. Levandowski just signaled that he's not an idiot.

doubleshadow 15 hours ago 3 replies      
> In the transcript of a private hearing before Judge William Alsup in United States District Court in San Francisco, Mr. Levandowskis lawyers said he was invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incrimination in turning over documents relevant to the case. Ubers lawyers said they have made clear to Mr. Levandowski that he needs to release any documents relevant to the case as part of discovery.

Does Levandowski also have his own lawyers? Says here that his lawyers said he was invoking his 5th amendment, while Uber lawyers said he needs to turn over all documents

DannyBee 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The number of armchair lawyers here who believe that they understand the fifth amendment is impressive.

You can hold the fifth amendment against people in civil trials in federal court.See, e.g., 425 US 308, 318"Our conclusion is consistent with the prevailing rule that the Fifth Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions when they refuse to testify in response to probative evidence offered against them: "

There is a well-established test for when negative inferences may be drawn.

Note also that federal courts can force the witness to take the stand and invoke the privilege in front of a civil jury.

Even further, federal courts may allow an adverse inference against a company from an employees or former employees invocation of the Fifth Amendment.

Most courts follow LiButti v. United States on this matter.

inlined 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Since I'm not a lawyer, does anyone have any reference to the 5th amendment ever being (successfully) used to avoid discovery? I thought that only applied to testimony.
fforflo 8 hours ago 1 reply      
A few days ago there was an article posted on HN (I think it was from Medium ) that provided a really long and detailed timeline of the events. How and when Kalanick and Levandowski met, when was the acquisition confirmed and so on. Anyone has it please?
ganfortran 15 hours ago 8 replies      
What does this imply?
PhantomGremlin 12 hours ago 6 replies      
Nobody yet has mentioned the big picture. To me the big queston is: How the fuck do Levandowski and Kalanick still have jobs at Uber?

If I were on the Uber Board of Directors, I would be pushing for armed security to escort those two clowns out the door. Immediately. As in today. And I'd give them a cardboard box with all their personal shit in it for them to carry out with them.

At what point in time does a company Director become complicit in theft of IP? What did the Uber board know, and when did they know it?

I predict that, any day now, there will be mass scurrying of rats abandoning a sinking ship.

All IMO of course. As they say on the TV show Cops (more or less): all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

beedogs 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the end for Uber. And it couldn't happen to a more deserving company.
ge96 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Plead the fifth cause you can't plead the first!


I have no idea what's happening. I support autonomous vehicles and not having to walk 6 miles home after work if there was greater public transportation that operated at night.

dzhiurgis 14 hours ago 2 replies      
While I do respect the right to protect your IP, Uber is 10 times smaller company than Google. The lawsuit is about technology that can potentially save thousands of lives and probably will be made open source in few years anyway.
Airbnb Bribes Host with Cash Under NDA After Partiers Destroy Apartment observer.com
474 points by moonka  22 hours ago   218 comments top 34
tptacek 19 hours ago 5 replies      
The irony of YC's flagship startup forcing exploding term sheets on their customers is a bit much to take.


Airbnb's statement concluding this story says that this interaction fell short of their expectations. Maybe they can go a bit farther. Can they commit (just a comment here would suffice) to not using the exploding-settlement tactic with their clients? Maybe all they'd really need to say is that nobody outside their counsel's office will ever be authorized to put an explicit time limit on any offered settlement.

mikeash 20 hours ago 6 replies      
What's going on here? The first half of the story sounds like routine corporate incompetency. Representatives don't read your stuff, can't be bothered to follow their own procedures, and screw you over. Unacceptable but, alas, fairly common when dealing with big companies.

The NDA is where it goes off the rails. He's entitled to that money, so why would they try to put conditions on it? I'm sure they're not thrilled to have him talking, but it's not like they have a choice in the matter. Once someone who is allowed to use their brains got involved, the result should have been a quick payment and an end to the saga.

whack 18 hours ago 4 replies      
I have a friend who literally had the exact same experience a week ago. She rented her apartment to a guy for one night, and he proceeded to have a massive party filled with drugs, prostitutes, and God knows what else. Her apartment was subsequently degraded and destroyed beyond all recognition.

Thus far, Airbnb's response to her has been extremely non-reassuring. Hopefully they will do more in the coming week and remedy the situation. If not, expect a longer post with pictures soon.

It's stuff like this that gives Airbnb a bad name, and makes many people hesitant to ever use the service. I hope someone at Airbnb realises that pinching pennies and not helping hosts when they get screwed, is really going to hurt Airbnb itself in the long run.

19eightyfour 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it correct that the article asserted damages assessed at USD 8K but offered to reimburse just under USD 2K?

I could be overreacting to this, but I had a really strong reaction to this article. I'll preface relating this by stating that in pretty much everything, I would usually side with the large company or startup. Just my point of view. I'm not overflowing in sympathy for people complaining about dealing with companies or large bureaucracies because in my experience that arises from people's insufficient understanding of how to operate with a company or large bureaucracy to their advantage. Most of the time I'd be like, people should learn to be smarter.

With that disclaimer aside this story made me super angry. How could AirBnB treat this person like that? Clearly guests had defrauded AirBnB's system, and the host suffered. The host should be totally compensated.

If this was my company, in an extreme case like this, I'd send out an AirBnB rep to do a damage assessment and collect evidence. And then, not just to be awesome, but to protect AirBnB against bad PR, and to encourage AirBnB to develop more robust guest fraud detection, I'd compensate as a policy 20 - 25 % over the amount. So this guy would get USD 10K and hands on treatment.

A complication I'm not considering is -- who is owed the damages, the guest or the landlord? But the idea above would be indicative of my response, and how I think they should have done this.

I super hate it to read great PR about AirBnB doing awesome things and then to see something like this. And the dereliction and indifference exhibited by the email chain...so angry. The worst thing is: you can judge a person ( and a company ) by how they treat people they don't think they need to treat well. So when AirBnB makes money out of you, and you use their shiny site, everything is grand. But when you suddenly suffer and need their help, their action falls well below their promise.

Like I said, maybe I'm overreacting or not seeing this clearly. But on the face of what I saw this is how I took this. So angry!

m-i-l 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Not defending Airbnb's behaviour, but this sort of thing happens outside of Airbnb too. I had some tenants (sons of a well known rock star) cause around 10K worth of damage to my flat in Shoreditch (plus around 5K in lost rent given the amount of time it took to repair) a few years back. In that case the letting agency I used was no help because they said it was a private matter between myself and the tenants, the insurance was no good because they said that amount of damage could not be accidental and they didn't cover malicious damage, and the legal system was no help because it favours tenants. In fact I might even have been better off with Airbnb.
rdl 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand how people could do that much damage and it would only come to $8k. Just the cleanup and repairs to the complex outside of his property should be nearly that much; losing his lease, other damages, and damage to his property should be a lot more than that.
mtalantikite 18 hours ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine is having similar issues with a neighboring apartment in their building in a more suburban neighborhood of NYC. Large parties of seemingly underage kids have been renting the apartment upstairs, throwing weekend long parties, and trashing the surrounding area (using the side of the house as a bathroom, for instance). The landlord doesn't seem to care since the unit would otherwise be empty and he can make the same rent in a weekend as he would in a month. That building doesn't seem to be the only one doing the same thing in the neighborhood.

I had never really thought of kids using AirBnb like that before, but it makes sense. When I was a teenager parties happened when people's parents went away for the weekend. Now an older kid can get a credit card, create a fake profile, rent an apartment for the weekend, charge a fee at the door, and have at it.

rdl 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Tangentially, as a guest, I've found a new (to me) use for Airbnb -- renting places in areas I'm considering a long lease or purchase. And for "work from home", it's actually possible to check with hosts and verify good Internet (in WA, Wave G or Frontier FIOS or something), which is a lot harder in hotels.
DanBC 19 hours ago 5 replies      
This email exchange reads like something from Black Mirror.


It's amazing he didn't go and firebomb AirBnB. This kind of communication would leave me incandescent with rage.

__jal 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Hard to say what I'd do when I haven't been in that situation, but in a past dispute with a large company, I felt I had the freedom to make them pay for their desired confidentiality. (It wasn't quite like this situation, but somewhat similar.)

I demanded a 60% premium over their "final" offer for the confidentiality clause. They told me to take a walk, but reversed and paid after my lawyer contacted them. (the 60% was basically pulled out of my nether bits; it was a wild guess at what they might value it at.)

I'd recommend anyone in a similar situation putting a price tag on the gag clauses, if they can afford it. Aside from many other issues, it is a nasty tactic that is bad for markets, because it increases economic inefficiency by increasing information asymmetry.

jsiegz 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Bribes are generally illegal. This should be "compensates," not "bribes." "Bribes" is just hyperbole. This is standard practice for a lot of businesses in a similar space.
sarreph 17 hours ago 2 replies      
> This was all too reminiscent of the NDA Tesla asked customers to sign last year after a defect was discovered, a request that was deemed unacceptable by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (which issued the warning about the defects).

How are the biggest and trendiest companies getting away with this kind of despicable behaviour? The lack of regulation in intervention here is especially troubling.

yomly 18 hours ago 1 reply      
You'd think Airbnb would be absolutely horrified of stories like this. How many hosts does this incrementally deter from using Airbnb?

Additionally, their SLAs for customer support are incredibly user-hostile, bordering on actively so. Look at how Amazon can do things better - no questions asked refunds and generally 24 hour SLAs on contact.

How can Airbnb fail so hard on realising that an internet business, such as theirs, lives and dies by customer trust...

RcouF1uZ4gsC 20 hours ago 5 replies      
Why do people find it surprising that companies who exist mainly on the premise of ignoring laws/regulations they find inconvenient, won't eventually ignore laws/regulations that you think worthwhile (ie Uber and sexual harassment and AirBnb and paying for damages).

In addition, I find it interesting that the host is only sending a bill for $8000. It seems as if he is only trying to get paid for his damages and not even considering the damage and disruption to his neighbors (who unlike the host are wholly blameless in this manner). It seems AirBnb attracts the jerks and freeloaders.

jInflux 19 hours ago 4 replies      
I find it shocking that someone thought it was a good idea to list a flat on airbnb that they're only renting themselves. Largely in England subletting is not allowed under the terms of rental agreements.
rahilsondhi 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one disgusted by the canned replies from Airbnb to Luciano? The guy had his home ruined and all Peter from Airbnb can talk about is file format requirements. Where is the empathy?
canada_dry 19 hours ago 1 reply      

Lots of crazy stories!

Their business model seems to rely on people willing to roll the dice on their safety and security to save (or earn) a few bucks! It will undoubtedly survive this little blip of negative publicity, but people really need to be wary of this organization's complete lack of customer service (when things go bad).

geoffmcc 20 hours ago 0 replies      
>> https://web.archive.org/web/20170330184054/http://observer.c...

archive of page. adds were crashing my browser.

jamisteven 19 hours ago 1 reply      
there are endless stories like this with AirBNB. They are right in that they have millions of successful bookings and these one-off scenarios are the exception to the rule, but they are being very unprofessional in the way they handle these matters. I would lawyered up as soon as they started dickin me around.
endgame 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Somehow that page's autoplaying video gets around the browser's mute control. The web continues to get worse...
nodesocket 19 hours ago 1 reply      
"They barricaded themselves inside with 14 police officers being unable to get them out until morning.

What? In America (god bless thee) police would have broken down doors and pepper sprayed those monsters, hopefully a few billy clubs to the head as well and arrested them all.

jamesgaston 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see the appeal of airb&b. I don't want strangers in my home when i am not there to monitor my stuff. That's crazy. And i keep horror stories like this, just read one about a trashed apt in toronto. And i travel a lot and when i do i go through established agencies for rentals. I'm in Bali now, got a great house for a good price through traipadvisor.
stordoff 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Unless I've overlooked something, the NDA seems to work largely against Airbnb. It limits their liability to this payment, and compels the host to provide "reasonable cooperation", but on confidentiality it only states:

> I acknowledge that the existence of the payment by Airbnb and this Airbnb Payment Agreement are confidential.

There seems to be nothing stopping the host from continuing to assert "Airbnb customers wrecked my flat; Airbnb provided terrible support and miscalculated damages".

beart 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised they were able to lock themselves inside and party even with the police trying to get them out. I feel like that wouldn't be possible in the U.S.
nether 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there are instances where people signed the NDA and took the money, that we have not heard about.
mercurialshark 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Clickbait title.

Why is this a bribe and not a settlement compensation offer? Good luck settling with your insurance company or an employer without signing an NDA and forgoing future action.

ouid 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ads injected into a slideshow. We are truly living in the future.
akeck 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't homeowner's and renter's insurance policies have short term rental exclusion clauses? This type of damage seems like a source of expensive claims.
phonon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmmm...actually the most clearly unethical act was not the low ball offer, the deadlines, or the non-disclosure request--it was the repeated insistence by "Peter" that "the decision reached in this case is final, and cannot be overturned" which is a blatant lie.

The Airbnb Host Guarantee clearly lays out an arbitration process in case of any dispute.


General. You and Airbnb agree that any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to these Airbnb Host Guarantee Terms or the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof, or to the use of the Services or use of the Site or Application (collectively, Disputes) will be settled by binding arbitration. You acknowledge and agree that you and Airbnb are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class action lawsuit, class-wide arbitration, private attorney-general action, or any other representative proceeding. Further, unless both you and Airbnb otherwise agree in writing, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one persons claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of any class or representative proceeding. If this specific paragraph is held unenforceable, then the entirety of this Dispute Resolution section will be deemed void. Except as provided in the preceding sentence, this Dispute Resolution section will survive any termination of these Airbnb Host Guarantee Terms.

Arbitration Rules and Governing Law. This agreement to arbitrate evidences a transaction in interstate commerce, and thus the Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this provision. The arbitration will be administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) in accordance with the Consumer Arbitration Rules (the AAA Rules) then in effect, except as modified by this Dispute Resolution section. (The AAA Rules are available at http://www.adr.org or by calling the AAA at +1 800 778 7879.) The Federal Arbitration Act will govern the interpretation and enforcement of this Section.

Arbitration Process. A party who desires to initiate arbitration must provide the other party with a written Demand for Arbitration as specified in the AAA Rules. (The AAA provides a form Demand for Arbitration. https://www.adr.org/cs/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=A... ) The arbitrator will be either a retired judge or an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of California and will be selected by the parties from the AAAs roster of consumer dispute arbitrators. If the parties are unable to agree upon an arbitrator within seven (7) days of delivery of the Demand for Arbitration, then the AAA will appoint the arbitrator in accordance with the AAA Rules.

Arbitration Location and Procedure. Unless you and Airbnb otherwise agree, the arbitration will be conducted in the county where you reside. If your claim does not exceed $10,000, then the arbitration will be conducted solely on the basis of documents you and Airbnb submit to the arbitrator, unless you request a hearing or the arbitrator determines that a hearing is necessary. If your claim exceeds $10,000, your right to a hearing will be determined by the AAA Rules. Subject to the AAA Rules, the arbitrator will have the discretion to direct a reasonable exchange of information by the parties, consistent with the expedited nature of the arbitration.

Arbitrators Decision. The arbitrator will render an award within the time frame specified in the AAA Rules. The arbitrators decision will include the essential findings and conclusions upon which the arbitrator based the award. Judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The arbitrators award damages must be consistent with the terms of the Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability section above as to the types and the amounts of damages for which a party may be held liable. The arbitrator may award declaratory or injunctive relief only in favor of the claimant and only to the extent necessary to provide relief warranted by the claimants individual claim. If you prevail in arbitration you will be entitled to an award of attorneys fees and expenses, to the extent provided under applicable law. Airbnb will not seek, and hereby waives all rights it may have under applicable law to recover, attorneys fees and expenses if it prevails in arbitration.

Arbitration Fees. Your responsibility to pay any AAA filing, administrative and arbitrator fees will be solely as set forth in the AAA Rules. However, if your claim for damages does not exceed $75,000, Airbnb will pay all such fees unless the arbitrator finds that either the substance of your claim or the relief sought in your Demand for Arbitration was frivolous or was brought for an improper purpose (as measured by the standards set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b)).

CptJamesCook 21 hours ago 6 replies      
Airbnb guests constantly rent my place to party. It's been a problem for years, at both of my homes. I block many of them, but can't detect them all. The other day an airbnb guest held a party, and they trashed my neighbor's balcony (below mine).

They need to get partying off the platform. It's terrible for neighbors and hosts, and it's not even much revenue; the partiers usually book for one night. Regular guests on average stay 4-5 nights.

forsaken 21 hours ago 2 replies      
larrik 21 hours ago 5 replies      
It's 8k pounds, though, which is a lot more than 8k dollars.

Edit: I'm impressed how my bad reading comprehension spawned so many replies.

diminoten 20 hours ago 5 replies      
A lot of confusing points to this story. I'm not defending AirBnB, but this story does baffle on a number of levels.

> (they came with a professional sound system)

How do you not see this coming, from a host perspective? Big red flag. How this get anywhere near as far as it did? "Well I figured the professional sound system was going to be fine in my apartment complex."

> Neighbors called the police five times and some partiers left, but most remained and locked themselves inside to continue partying.

If the police want to enter a home, and the owner of the home agrees to it, since when do the people in the home get a say as to whether or not the police can/cannot enter?

AirBnB handled this very poorly, but why is AirBnB fully responsible for this? I get that they're trying to attract people to put their homes on their service, and they offer to be responsible, but why can't Dinulescu go after the idiots who did this to his apartment directly? Why can't AirBnB do that?

How can a person go into another person's home, as a guest, do something like this, and not be held responsible, either civilly or criminally?

cosinetau 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm beginning to feel that these app business are nothing more than modern get rich quick schemes, and will not stand the test of time.
Chase had ads on 400k sites, then on just 5k, with same results nytimes.com
349 points by walterbell  1 day ago   146 comments top 38
doctorpangloss 1 day ago 6 replies      
It's crazy how many apologists there are for Big Web Advertising!

So many commenters are giving the customer a hard time for realizing, "99% of my budget is spent on zero value, i.e. fraud."

The biggest lie the online advertising industry has sold is aggregate statistics. Of course a handful of traffic sources convert massively while the supermajority (99%) don't convert at all. Advertising intermediaries rely on the statistical mean to hide all the garbage in the gold. It should surprise no one that for the vast majority of customers, like Chase, conversion as a function of source is skewed.

I suspect too many ad tech companies rely on the ignorance of their customers to make money. They monetize the basic math of "if it's more than break-even, it's working"in other words, their objective is to take as much ad budget as possible while still delivering a profitable conversion for the customer. By simple math, ad tech uses garbage inventory until the customer's profit is close to but above zero. It works, and you'd have to be a real blowhard to believe that it's not how the ad tech ecosystem works.

That ad-tech does this by laundering e-mail spam, blogspam and other forms of spam into Google AdWords: that's the real fraud. All those Googlers then go on to pretend like it's not happening.

I mean, what 400,000 sites do you think Chase was advertising on? Ones that really have to do with banking? Or just ones that, by some idiotic metric, have a keyword that ".equals('banking')"?

I would love for someone at Google's direct navigation ads (or whatever ridiculously obscuring name they're called now) to come out and say how "Nobody clicks twice [on spam ads] by accident." It's like they inhabit a make-believe universe. The ad exchanges aren't ignorant: they're facilitating the massive fraud of their own customers.

blazar 1 day ago 4 replies      
"An intern then manually clicked on each of [the 12000] addresses to ensure that the websites were ones the company wanted to advertise on." - true hero of this article
soared 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is definitely an interesting tactic, but this is a pretty poor article.

#1. Chase is claiming performance hasn't been affected, but it has only been a couple days since they made changes. With display you can't measure performance in only a few days.

#2. The author confuses the number of sites with the number of impressions. Chase is buying the same number of impressions - if everyone else followed this strategy it wouldn't hurt exchanges. It would have weird outcomes, but if the same volume is served the exchange makes the same amount (excluding data costs and how cpm would be affected, etc).

ransom1538 1 day ago 2 replies      
The fix to online ad fraud is obvious: CPA (Cost per action). If a signup occurs, then you pay for the ads. If a user pays for the service, then you pay for the ads. It would align the incentives of the advertisers (people paying for ads) and the ad networks (google). Currently it is the ad networks incentive to use CPC and to hide fraud by not releasing traceable ids, allowing clicks from bots/proxies/adsense holders and allowing ads on unrelated content which cause accidental clicks. CPA would incentivize the advertisers (people paying for ads) to commit the fraud by not reporting the action. This would be easier to maintain since the people paying for ads is a much smaller set. BUT - from my experience there would be almost no money in this system for Google since most of their income is from fraud.

Disclosure: worked in ad tech.

ericdykstra 1 day ago 0 replies      
While the premise of the article is reasonable, the evidence is flimsy. This seems like an example of NY Times defending their turf. We've seen numerous [1] examples [2] lately of legacy media companies trying to drive advertisers away from new media sites and Youtube by discrediting sites as "fake news" and by running hit pieces on popular Youtube personalities.

I mean, just look at the author's latest articles. 5 of the last 6 (including this one) disparage advertising on new channels! [3] Targets include Youtube, Snapchat, Breitbart, and Google (in general).

The legacy media is just not well suited for the current state of the world. Breaking news comes first through Twitter now. Investigative journalism doesn't require a big budget to make high quality content any more. As for political commentary, many people would rather listen to a well-educated everyman craft videos on Youtube than listen to the millionaire personalities on Fox News talk about how the Democratic party doesn't understand the proletariat.

1. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/feb/24/zoe-sugg-zoe...

2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-severs-ties-with-youtube...

3. https://www.nytimes.com/by/sapna-maheshwari?action=click&con...

drej 1 day ago 0 replies      
My mate worked at a giant ecommerce company, it would send hundreds of millions of e-mails a month... and with virtually no performance evaluation (only high level stats which are by no means actionable). It took a single SQL query to propose cuts to traffic in the order of 20% with ~zero loss in revenue.

I remember attending a talk, where this guy talked about their freemium app used by dozens of millions of users. Their in-app popups were cut by 30% or so without losing revenue, all thanks to a few simple if statements (they tried machine learning as well, but this did it).

One can only wonder how much of this excessive advertising there is, I guess it's mostly driven by absolute revenue numbers without much consideration for costs and efficiency.

jtraffic 1 day ago 3 replies      
> At some point, a human is going to take a look.

I recently saw a talk by Foster Provost, a big ML guy at NYU. The main points of his talk were that using fine-grained behavioral data (like browsing history) is better than demographics (at least in his context: predicting ad lift), and he proposed a way to interpret the model (somewhat). I left feeling disappointed. His system for interpretation was super post-hoc and tenuous, IMHO. It felt like a computer scientist doing social science (because it was).

I think ML is great for lots of things, but there are still lots of problems with using it in systems with humans.

An example: if you do a Google search for "Amazon <some book>" then you'll almost always get an ad from Amazon. So Amazon pays for a click that would have happened anyway. Maybe Amazon does this to crowd out other advertisers, but maybe it's just the algorithm being stupid and nobody is watching.

diogenescynic 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work for a biggish company and sit near the marketing department. They report similar results, if not quite so dramatic. Advertising isn't incremental. Sometimes there's only so much demand for your product and you can only change that so much with marketing or promotion.
trustfundbaby 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half"

-- John Wanamaker

olb 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Surprisingly, the company is seeing little change in the cost of impressions or the visibility of its ads on the internet, she said.

If/when other companies switch to this strategy, theyll all be competing for less inventory and cost will go up accordingly.

mikehollinger 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can we talk about the fact that "an intern" had to filter through 12,000 websites and make a judgement call for a second here?

Also - I presume the spending was the same in both cases - just focused. If so, the risk here is that you may miss out on a new up and coming blog "exploding" onto the scene. However, all it would take to "reset" is next quarter, "tasting" ads on 400k sites again, paying an intern (again) to filter the ones that led to revenue, and creating yet another list.

elorant 1 day ago 0 replies      
So if advertising on questionable sites bares the same results as advertising on respectable ones the bottom line is that advertising doesn't work at all.

Perhaps it's time to move away from profiling and return to the old days where the ads were correlated with the content/web site.

dfgonzalez 1 day ago 1 reply      
So, they run their campaigns with an open targeting and then they trimed the websites to the ones users clicked, and then, selected which ones had better brand value for them. That's simple optimization and they should have always been doing that.

The question arrises when you have to start from scratch. They would also have to start with an open targeting to learn what performs for them.

madebysquares 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds like pure PR spin to make chase sound like some altruistic advertising adverse bank.
thomed 1 day ago 1 reply      
An important difference between buying ads on 400k sites and 5k sites is the margin for the middlemen. The money is going to get spent anyway, so the middleman needs to optimise his take.

The bigger the sites; the more leverage they have over middlemen. The lower the fees exchanges/ssps can collect - for big sites (ones people have actually heard of) the fee is effectively zero, and are needed by exchanges as loss leaders to attract any demand. Little sites with no leverage will expect to pay around ~70% to the middlemen (although not all of that will be disclosed).

True story: about 250 domains will get you above 98% of online population in most countries. This is plenty large enough for dvertisers to do all kinds of fancy targeting and optimisation within this pool.

pryelluw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Eh, same would have happened with billboards, newspapers, radio, etc. Bad marketing cannot be fixed by mass deployments.
anothercomment 1 day ago 0 replies      
In their test they had 12000 clicks, and decided they only wanted 5000 of them. So they miss 7000 clicks, or more than 50%. How is that the same result?

I could understand if they found that click from certain sites did not lead to new business for them. But that is not what the article says. It says they didn't want those 7000 clicks because they were from sites they didn't like.

It seems to me they should already have figured out which sites bring them useful clicks long ago, in an automated way. Isn't that standard procedure for advertising? Then there would be no need for moral judgements. Of course they are in their rights to shut out sites they don't like. But not everybody who browses such a site has to be a believer, among other things.

I think drawing attention to such automated matches of ads can only produce losers. The sites lose out on ads, but the companies force themselves to become political, needlessly driving away users from the other political spectrum. (Again, I assume it is in every companies rights to do so, it just seems bad for business).

mjevans 1 day ago 3 replies      
Edited for elaboration:

The article doesn't mention the precise methodology for reaching the 5000 sites number, other than some human filtering being involved.

The precise wording of another section is also vague, the 'cost of an impressions' could mean either their total Internet marketing expenditure is the same (thus 395000 sites were largely ineffective and merely exposed them to risk and complexity) OR that they've reduced their spending by around 98+% with no appreciable change in effectiveness.

bjd2385 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel bad for the intern who JPM paid to click through 12k sites to find the 7k that we're unacceptable.
nerfhammer 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's the shape of the long tail distribution? Does the top 5000 get 99% of the traffic?
arbuge 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The irony is that it is so easy to track online conversions with a simple pixel or server postback. It's called performance marketing, or affiliate marketing, in the sense that the advertising websites then become what is commonly called an affiliate in online advertising lingo. There really is no reason to pay for impressions these days, unless you believe in a mystical (and suspicious IMHO) quantity known as "branding value".
pwg 1 day ago 1 reply      
> "99% of my [advertising] budget is spent on zero value,"

This has always been true for advertising. The difference is that before the internet there were zero methods for the advertising client to directly recognize this fact.

ptenk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Likely due to ppc arbitrage. It doesn't change anything in terms of spend and the return is the same, it's just that users click through different sources to get to the same destination.
nichochar 1 day ago 2 replies      
it's only been a few days though, I think this fact alone invalidates the data.
1337biz 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The NYT arguing that one should only advertise on 'high quality websites' is the equivalent to a retailer arguing that you should only buy in store because all the online stores are full of fakes. Fits perfectly in line with their 'we report the truth and anything else is fake' narrative.
jpalomaki 1 day ago 0 replies      
With the magic of computers you could deliver 400k versions of your ad. Each tailored to the site where the ads are being displayed (or even more - tailored also to the specific user). Probably most of these sites have very distinct audience, so you could build quite targeted ads.

If you are just spamming the same ad everywhere, then I can certainly understand why it does not make difference if it appears on 5000 vs 400.000 sites if the ad display count stays the same.

jack9 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is non-news, when talking about Display Ads.

Relevant: http://www.businessinsider.com/its-more-likely-you-will-surv...

fabiandesimone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Basically brand advertisers are becoming performance marketing oriented.


konceptz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would wonder if the whitelisting is in-house or part of their contract? If it's in-house then the added cost to maintain the whitelist (in-house expertise), while not much comparatively, isn't nothing.
pcurve 1 day ago 0 replies      
I guess Youtube content creators will ramp up their self-censoring. At least those who were deriving meaningful amount of revenue from their videos.
taksintikk 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Pareto principle (80/20) most definitely applies to advertising.

If you let google or FB choose where to show your ads, you are going to have a bad time.

NicoJuicy 1 day ago 0 replies      
So, limiting websites gives the same result? What happens if they change their bidding and did the total amount of impressions change?
pajop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Archived version: http://archive.is/2EhFW
bayesian_horse 1 day ago 0 replies      
As they say, 80% of advertising has no effect. The trouble is telling which part.
flatfilefan 1 day ago 0 replies      
One would think this could be the perfect case for Big Data approach, web scale and all. But no - it is an intern manually clicking through 12K web sites. Somebody sell them some buzzwords, anybody?
jlebrech 1 day ago 0 replies      
this is smart, find out which sites give you revenue then trim.

if only we could get Chase's list it would save others a lot of money.

douche 1 day ago 0 replies      
No shit, nobody clicks on ads. Many people don't even see them. It's the biggest class of Graeber-esque bullshit jobs[1] I can think of .

[1] http://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/

Neliquat 1 day ago 1 reply      
More terrible tech reporting from NYT, why are they being spammed here so much now? Can it stop? Tired of the clickbait and paywall. I thought HN was against both.
Disapproval of FCC regulations a significant blow against privacy protection nytimes.com
312 points by crispyambulance  2 days ago   229 comments top 39
edraferi 2 days ago 8 replies      
I want a privacy first router. Does such a product exist?

Key features:

 - I pay a subscription for maintenance (so I'm not the product) say $10/mo - Automatically routes all traffic over a VPN. - Smart VPN bypass for performance-sensitive traffic like streaming video and gaming - Provides non-logging DNS service - Automatic advertisement blocking
For VPN, DNS, and adblock I want the option to use servers & block lists maintained by the paid service, augment them with my own, or use my own exclusively. Bonus points for rotating requests between providers.

Does such a product exist? I think I could hack together something similar using DD-WRT[1], but I'm confident the maintenance hassle will eventually outweigh my desire for privacy. #shutupandtakemymoney

[1] http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index

Brendinooo 2 days ago 3 replies      
I am a strong advocate for privacy, please understand that before you continue reading this. I don't want ISPs to sell my browsing history, and I am continually disappointed in the Republican opposition to net neutrality and online privacy. I'm even working on an open source project involving cryptography and secret protection, so I have skin in the game.

However, this headline is patently false, right? Congress didn't sell anything. They removed protections that were put into place late last year and hadn't gone into effect as far as I know.

Just because companies are legally capable of selling your browsing data doesn't mean that they absolutely will. As far as I know, my browsing history hasn't been sold by my ISP yet, and the regulations that were rolled back were not the reason why this is true.

Maybe I'm just posting because I like being a contrarian, but I do expect a more sober-minded commentary on this site than I've been getting on some recent news items.

If you're interested in the FCC's response, here is a primary source[0]. I don't buy most of it - I know that this is a lot of spin doctoring, particularly that second paragraph. But it provides insight to how the FCC is viewing this, something I haven't seen a lot of in this coverage.

Here[1] is some coverage from 2015 on the FCC/FTC issue that the third paragraph in that presser talks about. Also worth noting is this HN thread[2] from two years ago, where the top comment is a thoughtful critique of putting the hopes of an open Internet in the hands of a bureaucracy. People didn't agree, but that's the sort of commentary that keeps me coming back to Hacker News.

[0]: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017...[1]: https://iapp.org/news/a/ftc-officials-concerned-about-jurisd...[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9191007

acomjean 2 days ago 0 replies      
In case people don't know, the author, Tom Wheeler was the previous chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

With the administration changed he no longer is in government.

also formerly a lobyist for the cable and wireless industry, which gives him some insight into the industry.


xienze 2 days ago 6 replies      
So the only thing I don't understand as far as the fuss about this is concerned -- everything I've read indicates that this is undoing a protection put in place late last year. So essentially we've gone back in time six months ago or so. If ISPs weren't selling our info then when they could have, why does it logically follow that we're now in some uncharted territory of ISPs selling personal info? Or is this simply blowing the situation out of proportion because Republicans did it?
Clanan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tom Wheeler, former FCC chairman and cable/wireless lobbyist, fails to charitably address why his opponents did what they did. To Republicans and opponents of his FCC chairmanship, this was about regulatory authority, not "selling your data to ISPs". They believe the FTC, not the FCC, should be the main privacy regulator as it has in the past. They also contend that ISPs are already disallowed from scooping and selling data without consent, and that the FCC already has authority to prosecute, via sections 201, 202 and 222 of the Communications Act.
gbrown 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is like FedEx or a privatized USPS being able to open your packages and read your mail without telling you.

I pay you to carry my damn packets, keep your filthy hands off my data.

jonjohn84 2 days ago 2 replies      
I feel like this isn't going to go anywhere but I'm still tempted to contribute: https://www.gofundme.com/BuyCongressData
djoldman 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that this law has passed raises an interesting question: can a private citizen request and receive any and all information from a government entity about the users of that government's various assets? For instance:

1. Detailed data on the number, character, weight, etc. of every car that passes on a government road. (cameras record license plates, traffic videos exist, weigh stations are sometimes required for trucks, etc.)

2. Power companies bill the owning address for every power meter connected to the grid - therefore it should be possible to compile detailed historical data on power use. (watt-hours used, at least in monthly time-slices, possibly with geo-locating data, etc.)

3. Same as above for water use.

It seems to me that if the government is going to make it legal for a provider of services that run on government owned property (telephone/internet lines, which if not in all cases outright owned by the federal government, ARE deeply regulated by it), then why not all the databases concerning all gov. property?

dsr_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
If engineers would refuse to implement privacy invasions, they wouldn't happen.

Do you work for Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time-Warner, CenturyLink, Charter, Cox, Frontier? Don't implement these things. Don't do deep packet inspection, don't log things that shouldn't be logged, don't put in MITM proxies and don't insert cookies in traffic that your customers expected to have unmolested. Explain your decision, and explain it to your coworkers.

Some of you will lose your jobs. I'm sorry. However, you're in high demand. And maybe you can make a difference.

serafinlion 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a repeal of the regulation put in place by the FCC last year October prohibiting ISPs (such as Verizon, AT&T) to sell their customers' data. This shows how strong the lobbyist groups are if this very recent item was taken on this quickly -- which makes sense if you think about that it's a $156+ billion industry in the US alone.

The regulation from last October required to ask for expressive consent to sell the following:

- Precise geo-location- Childrens information- Health Information- Financial Information- Social Security Numbers (wait, they actually sold those?!)- Web Browsing History- App Usage History- The content of communication

With the new regulation, passing all of these information on is fair game again. Which is absolute fucking shocking!

Btw, for anyone interested, I wrote a blog post about the implications of the new regulation for ISPs when it was first passed -- just make sure to read it as the opposite of what I wrote: https://blog.datawallet.io/broad-band-providers-take-a-hit-b...

zaroth 2 days ago 2 replies      
Internet Provisers -- that's Google and Facebook, right?

On a more serious note, people need to understand that every domain you visit, every query you search, every digital conversation you have, every number you call, every movie you watch or book you read, everything you buy, unless you take active measures to mask your identity that record is being retained by as many different people that can get their hands on it as possible.

Let's be clear about what this bill is potentially changing -- not who is collecting the data but who can monetize it.

Frankly, a bill that allows monetization of data already collected is not about privacy it's about deregulation. As long as the data is retained, privacy is already lost.

I actually really like this bill because it exposes, well, how exposed we all are online. The more people understand how much tracking is going on, the more likely we can garner the will, the market, the demand for technological solutions which actually protect privacy rather than regulating monetization.

pragone 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since this isn't posted in this thread yet, here it is: https://github.com/jlund/streisand

Unless someone can point out why it's not what it's cracked up to be? Seems like a rather easy-to-setup solution, somewhere between straight up paying a service and rolling everything yourself (I do pay PIA, but I've found that, not infrequently, my speeds are drastically throttled. I'll be actively downloading a file while connected at 400kb/s, cancel the download, disconnect from them, restart the same file, and be at 10mbit/s. I have no doubt some of that is due to the nature of the VPN, but I can't imagine all of it is. But, I'm not not a network engineer.)

Asdfbla 2 days ago 3 replies      
At least consumers still have https going for them I suppose? Or maybe ISPs are now more motivated to man-in-the-middle those connections to get to the data, under the guise of security or something?
Thrymr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am curious whether any companies are concerned about this for employees who work from home. Can ISPs resell business espionage to the highest bidder? Not all employers are savvy enough to provide and require VPNs.
good_sir_ant 2 days ago 9 replies      
The article's main argument is that the ISPs are selling something that doesn't belong to them, but to the consumer.

I don't like the idea of my personal information being sold, but how could you state this as fact? Shouldn't it be up to the consumer to choose to do business with a company that sells your personal info vs a company that does not?

singularity2001 2 days ago 0 replies      
This can't be repeated often enough:

If you have some ssh server somewhere (who hasn't), you can very easily create a 'VPN over ssh' by calling:

sshuttle -r user@remote_host --dns

milesf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I've watched the tech community battle back many times: PGP, SCO Unix vs Linux, WebStandards.org, etc.

How do we fight this using software? Remember that many of the innovations came from single individuals. Is there a way to have a fully private, fast communication between two computers when we know everything we do is being saved and analyzed? Because that's all the Internet really is, whether one of those computers is a web server and the other a browser or any other infinite combination.

jaySmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
One idea that I have been running through my head for awhile is a Tor like onion router that could be funded by a special cryptocurrency. This would mean each relay would get some amount of money for passing a packet on to the next relay. Ultimately this would solve two problems with Tor: speed (as it is paid there would likely be more relays with faster connection) and issues with spam (DOS over the network would cost a lot more.) Obviously it would suffer from some anonymity issues that would need to be solved as you are paying and it could be traced. I don't know if this idea would solve the issue in this case but I figured I would mention it.
j2bax 2 days ago 7 replies      
Is there anything the average user can do to protect their data/privacy from their ISP?
erdojo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Might be an ignorant question, but could individual websites do more to prevent an ISP from seeing your activity on the site?

I know HTTPS should be able to help (?), but ISPs can still see the domain you're visiting and get metadata on the encrypted traffic, which can be revealing.

Are there architectural or tech stack decisions a company could make that would basically lock an ISP from knowing anything except the root domains you visited?

valine 2 days ago 1 reply      
What I want is a way to tie my own VPN to something like my Apple id and have it auto configured anytime I move to a different device. Right maintaining VPN clients on a range of devices is a pretty big hassle. I'm not saying I want Apple to run vpn services, I just want an easy way to manage vpn configurations on personal devices.
cryoshon 2 days ago 1 reply      
if i dare to say that the republicans fucked us over i'll be banned for "partisan bickering", so:

we just need to develop technological workarounds to the politicians. vpns are an okay start.

Spoom 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm curious if this will result in ISPs requiring the installation of an SSL root CA on customers' devices -- they can't track SSL traffic without it.
eternalban 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is basically like having your mailman/postoffice sell the list of your to/from addresses.

Isn't it possible to challenge this on constitutional grounds?

wu-ikkyu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like it's time for an "AdNauseam" for browser history obfuscation. Does anyone know if such a tool already exists?
JohnLeTigre 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great, now everyone will use Tor and torrent over I2P.I wonder if these technologies can handle the extra bandwidth.
xori 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm curious, does this mean that an ISP can sell non-anonymized data collected between last October and now?
earlyriser 2 days ago 0 replies      
How difficult would be to create a DuckDuckGo of the ISPs? Both at national or local levels.
0wl3x 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have a good VPN that they would recommend? This bill is totally fucked.
joe_momma 2 days ago 0 replies      
good thing this will create jobs jobs jobs! aka just ordinary bull shit.
ryanmarsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Begun the crypto wars have.
dfar1 2 days ago 2 replies      
What is the name of the bill? And where can I read it? Thanks.
twsted 2 days ago 0 replies      
This and the move to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. Sad.
mozumder 2 days ago 0 replies      
But her emails?
davidgerard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fake title. Actual title: "How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers"
peregrine 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Hacker News mods should comment why this post has been 'bumped' from the top spot and why it's title is no longer the original title of the article.

From the https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html:

> Otherwise please use the original title, unless it is misleading or linkbait.

The title is the original, it wasn't misleading and it isn't 'linkbait'. Its the premise of the article and it's the truth.

dang please help me out here.

bubblethink 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why was the title of this post changed retroactively on HN ? The article is an op-ed with the title "How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers".
greedyliberal 2 days ago 3 replies      
0xfeba 2 days ago 4 replies      
> In 2016, the F.C.C., which I led as chairman under President Barack Obama, extended those same protections to the internet.

Oh how nice of Tom Wheeler to play the good-guy now. It took a lot of public outcry for him to change his tune about Net Neutrality.

Xcode 8.3 produces binaries 3x larger than Xcode 8.2.1 openradar.me
308 points by adomanico  1 day ago   131 comments top 12
DannyBee 1 day ago 6 replies      
This appears to be bitcode.It probably means they just starting making use of more metadata or something that is now included in the bitcode.

Bitcode also now deliberately trades off size vs speed and includes indexes used for LTO, etc.They could be including those.

You should almost always expect bitcode to get beat by "llvm-dis|xz", because the goal of bitcode is not to be the most compact possible format, but instead, a compact format the compiler can use effectively :)

Now, if actual on-device binary sizes increased, my guesses would be:

1. it now includes bitcode, or another architecture, in the binary (which would be interesting)

2. Something has gone horribly horribly wrong :P Really, speaking as a guy whose org maintains the toolchains for platforms like this, there's a 0% chance we wouldn't notice a 2x-3x size increase.

bdash 1 day ago 5 replies      
Note that the size increase is in the _bitcode_ portion of the binary. This slice is stripped from the binary before it makes it to the user's device. This means the size increase is merely an inconvenience during the development process, and has no impact on the size of apps as users see them.
mwexler 1 day ago 2 replies      
So, the app explodes in size, and since almost no app provides a "clear cache/temp" feature, apps grow til you are crashing routinely. While iOS may clear some space when it feels like it, I have a monthly routine of deleting and reinstalling a slew of apps which take up gigs of space on the device after usage, even though they are just showing data stored on a server. I know, I shouldn't have to worry about this, that iOS will eventually clean it up... but when apps are crashing b/c they can't get space, I wind up having to manually step in.

So, a) for devs, if you think your app caches, provide a way to clear it (look at Opera's Coast browser, who puts it in the Settings app), and b) for users, if you think you are out of space, look at apps and compare app size to total space, and you'll find some hogs.

nstj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really need to change the title to reflect that the increase in size is not present in App Store binary.

Side note: filing a Radar is the new top of the customer acquisition funnel. Go Realm! :)

apple-fan-941 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is due to bitcode, which won't actually affect the binary size seen by end users (i.e. app download size): https://twitter.com/jckarter/status/846796503775567872"That at least shouldn't affect your users' download size, then."
aaronfuqua 1 day ago 1 reply      
Isn't 10.3 the first version that is introducing the new APFS file system? If so, couldn't that have something to do with it? Does each app need to compile for both supported file systems now? I am not a LLVM expert but someone with more expertise on this subject might be able to say. I just found it odd that no one else here had mentioned it. It is the big update for 10.3
CppCoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did anyone actually look at the content which is responsible for the increase in size? I hope it does not include the source itself, comments, and who knows what.
dep_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
It also seems to take 3x longer while the previous version was no speed demon either. Guess why I have so much time to post here?
perlpimp 1 day ago 0 replies      
wonder what would https://github.com/google/bloaty say about those binaries...
sebow 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Remind me of Visual Studio
sneak 1 day ago 2 replies      
Apple charges $1200 to upgrade the latest touch bar rMBP from 512GB to 2TB of flash.

Let's not forget that they are a hardware vendor.

I don't think it's some grand conspiracy theory, but the interests of the vendor and of the user are not precisely aligned when it comes to efficient usage of storage. (The lack of stripping applications of their alternate language content on install/download also comes to mind.)

alien3d 1 day ago 1 reply      
The same codebase compiled with Xcode 8.3 produces a binary about three times larger at 158MB, including 70MB for bitcode alone.

Apple limit 100 mb per download.. So this big issue for all developer.We need apple to remove the limitation over 100 mb or atleast 1GB.

UK triggers the official Brexit process in a letter to EU bbc.com
313 points by nedsma  2 days ago   613 comments top 25
ealexhudson 2 days ago 11 replies      
I'm a big believer in not having assumptions and testing things with actual experiments. This is one experiment I'd rather not be participating in, though.

It's difficult to see very much positive about this move; certainly there will be some benefits, but I expect greatly outweighed by the negatives (which will include higher prices, lower employment and probably lower standards for UK workers - the EU has consistently been the only organisation willing to drag us out of the dark ages).

dustinmoris 2 days ago 18 replies      
I'm a bit tired of reading doomsday messages by now. I am an European living and working in the UK and even though this affects me I have no reason to believe that things will go downwards now. If there's anything I've learned so far then that every analysis I've read couldn't have been more wrong.

It almost seems like the more the UK economy doesn't collapse the more people shout even louder how bad the Brexit is. Maybe I am just too indifferent or chilled, but I think the best is to just sit back and watch what will happen.

Also I seriously don't think of the Brexit that the UK leaves Europe. I think the UK and the EU will strive for the closest relationship possible. The only thing that I see changing is that the UK withdraws from a formal contract with the EU with the hope to negotiate a better deal. I don't think this is racist. Not every contract makes the same sense for every country in the world.


Wow lots of responses to this comment. Thank you all. There's a lot of good discussion and some suggest that I am more relaxed perhaps because I am maybe financially secure, but that is not true. When I was a child I watched on television the Fukushima disaster in Japan and I was totally freaked out. I was afraid for many reasons and then as I watched longer I was totally amazed how relaxed the people in Japan dealt with the situation. There was a crisis, but nowhere near what I thought would have happened in the western world. Nobody was running or fleeing the country, nobody stopped going to work, etc. People worked together to fix the problem as good as they could and everyone lifted their weight. All news in Europe were talking about how cool-headed the Japanese dealt with this situation and it was something which I never forgot in my life. I then realised that only because everyone stayed calm and cool headed they were able to deal with this problem the way they did. It was not perfect, but boy it was much better than what I thought would happen.

So this is my childhood experience which has marked me for life and made me realise that mass hysteria is never good. No matter what the situation is.

djaychela 2 days ago 3 replies      
I sincerely hope that today (and obviously the day it actually happens) isn't something that I look back on with sadness in the future. I live in the UK, and am really saddened by the way that politics is 'progressing' - in fact, regressing to a time where nationalism seems to be the voice, and one which I think will inevitably lead to conflict. Combined with the Trump situation in the USA, I am extremely pessimistic about the future - more so of my four step children, who are all going to reap the adult world that people such as Johnson, Gove and Farage have sewn.
maaaats 2 days ago 5 replies      
Whatever one may think of the politics or if one's country should join/leave, it's absolutely true that EU has been a big factor in keeping the peace between European nations for decades. The Nobel Peace Prize to EU got a lot of criticism because of politics, but I think it was important to show that EU has helped keep the peace.
Two9A 2 days ago 14 replies      
Are British HN'ers taking any mitigating steps due to this whole situation?

I'm currently in the process of incorporating in the Netherlands, and it turns out setting up a Ltd is a lot more expensive over there than in the UK. I just don't feel that the UK will make good use of my tax receipts any more, so I'm almost obligated to take my work elsewhere.

te_chris 2 days ago 1 reply      
Today is the day that David Cameron's legacy is solidified: The hubristic toff who saw his nation as a play thing.
coldtea 2 days ago 1 reply      
>As Article 50 is triggered today, many European expats in Britain, as well as European-minded locals, are packing up, moving on or eyeing up their options. Brexit brain drain could spell disaster for industries like technology already facing shortages of skilled talent.

Sorry, what about the brain drain when those "European expats" came from their countries into the UK?

Or that doesn't matter because it was all "within EU" anyway?

Still, UK hadn't paid for their education and other benefits while they were growing up in their native countries, and their native countries didn't get taxes from those people while they were living in the UK.

And those countries would also like to have their scientists etc stay and work there to improve the country's industry and economy.

Brain drain works both ways. You can't lament brain drain from an economy that actually caused brain drain, and now those brains leave it.

arca_vorago 2 days ago 2 replies      
My theory on brexit has been for a long time now that, after entangling the EU with the Euro, and globalization actually hurting the first-world EU, the UK is simply attempting to isolate it's vulnerabilities to the coming impacts of globalization.

If my theory is true, it means essentially that brexit is designed not to create wealth in the UK, but to make the losses less than the rest of the world by comparison.

With such a large surveillance state though, and a massive propaganda operation wing, the UK has done a good job confusing it's people into the core reasons because to admit them would be to admit the weaknesses of the global monetary system it has had a large part in fostering on the world through the IMF, the World Bank, and fiat, fractional reserve central banking systems not tied to gold or oil (bretton woods without the key things that made bretton woods good).

leovonl 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's amusing to read all these calls for a more democratic EU, specially when comparisons with the USA are made.

EU membership is voluntary, you can leave if you want. What would happen if an USA state decided to leave? Check the history books.

Truly democratic nations respect self-determination principles. In this sense, USA is closer to the authoritarianism of Spain than to democracies like Canada or the UK itself.

bambax 2 days ago 0 replies      
From the letter[1] of PM May to Pres. Tusk:

> At a time when the growth of global trade is slowing and there are signs that protectionist instincts are on the rise in many part of the world, Europe has a responsibility to stand up for free trade in the interest of all our citizens

This is pretty rich. Protectionist "instincts" are on the rise in the UK and the US first and foremost today, so maybe those countries are not in the best position to lecture the rest of the world against them?

The crux of the matter is, countries have no friends and no moral imperatives, they only have interests; May's letter is very short on what the interests of the EU are, to try to give the UK a "nice" deal. How would the EU benefit from a deal -- any deal at all -- vs no deal?

(Also, this is a small detail but maybe not an insignificant one, negotiations cost money; if there is no hope of gaining anything, why should EU negotiators even show up? It would save money to simply not talk at all).

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/29_03_17_article5...

DrNuke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Corbyn for Labour Party: "There are Conservatives who want to use Brexit to turn this country into a low-wage tax haven." Well, full automation = no wages at all, ehehe. I am not sure how it is going to end and it is not my strict business anyway but there is a chance, not a slim chance imho, we may well see some sort of sci-fi dystopian UK emerging from this process. Interesting times ahead. Disclaimer: spent five years in the UK on the cusp of the 2007-8 financial crash and could see this was going to happen somehow someday, all starting from there and from perverse globalisation enhancing inequalities imho.
barking 2 days ago 1 reply      
This story is going to get very boring very quickly.

Little will be decided until close to the deadline in two years.

In the meantime life will go on as normal as it has for the last year.

What is much more interesting is what will happen shortly in France and whether the phenomena that led to Trump and Brexit are repeated elsewhere in Europe.

alkonaut 2 days ago 2 replies      
Since the actual outcome now seems to be that it'sore England leaving the UK, than the UK leaving the EU - doesn't that constitute a huge change in circumstances, enough to warrant at least a parliamentary election before the exit is triggered?

I mean, imagine if the Brexit ballot had said "Do you want for the UK to remain intact in the EU, or be broken apart with England and Wales leaving the EU?"

Or if it had 3 options

- remain

- leave

- leave, if the UK stays intact.

Leave would never had won. Which makes this whole charade completely insane.

Someone 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know it is nerdy, but what a weird PDF (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/29_03_17_article5...)

Pages 1 and 4 are text (allow text selection), the other ones are images (on iPad)

I wonder what process could have led to that; it is not simply a matter of having one section produced in a different way from the other, as, for example, page 5 continues an enumeration started on page 4.

k__ 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hopefully, like Trump in the US, this will wake them up.
empressplay 2 days ago 2 replies      
Democracy is a double-edged sword. I may not like the way it cuts sometimes, but no way in hell I'll ever put it down.
robin_reala 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Guardian have published the letter on Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/document/343396953/PM-Letter-to-EU-Co...
Animats 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scotland now wants to get out of the United Kingdom and stay in the EU. When this thing settles down, the EU will probably be OK, but England will stand alone.
maverick_iceman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hopefully, UK will now get rid of onerous, business-strangling regulations of the EU. That's at least one good aspect of Brexit.
dijit 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm British but live in the EU. I've been watching this from the outside and it makes me so very sad and despondent. Forgetting any inconvenience on my part (of which there are very few -I likely have access to an EU passport.).

It's fucking stupid. No ifs, no buts, no apologies and respecting of alternate opinions. Just fucking stupid. Every single reason for leaving (other than "leave so the EU can get on without UK obstructions) has been debunked. Poeple protest voted, they voted with feelings instead of sense. They ignored people who knew what they were talking about and went with idiotic soundbites. I don't know what the actual fuck is going through the minds of our government, but it's not sense.

Hell, it's going ahead. We don't have the manpower, experience or knowledge to replace things that have been done with the EU. The boring administration. Standards, procedures... All the little details that mean the difference between something that works and something that doesn't.

I trust the EU oversight much further than the bunch of fools in the UK. Too entwined with their own interests. Who has bought them, why are they so scared of newspapers, why they seem utter cowards... We have some wonderful examples of how education and arrogance can seem like intelligence.

Aaaand yup, this is a rant now. I shall carry on, because now I'm finding it a little cathartic.

I'm not left wing, not right. I earn well above the average. I'm a pragmatist and I firmly believe that having strong and successful neighbours is good. I do not want a neighbour that throws the metaphorical shite over the fence. There are poorer countries in the EU. Movement is good between countries and those that people complain about will not bother taking the leap when their home country is made attractive enough not to.

Nothing is perfect. The EU is far from it, because it involves people... But they move slowly in a direction of interest to its citizens. Not just in the interest of the people of those governments.

It's been pissed away by liars and imbeciles now. I cannot unite behind it in the same way I would try to stop idiots from walking off a cliff, rather than joining them.

Possibly a little harsh. Probably not though.

soroso 2 days ago 0 replies      
logicallee 1 day ago 2 replies      
The EU should treat this like America treated secessionist states - the UK should be compelled to stay by force. Obviously there should not be any actual war, since the Brtis should just say, "well, all right."

Afterward they should be full, normal participants, just as every state is a normal participant in the United States and has equal and fair votes in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Why should this be done:

1 - America shows that it is great that there is a unified country, which benefits from huge economies of scale.

2 - Can you imagine how much money is saved by not having to have border control, separate visas and citizenships in the United States? The same applies to the EU.

3 - The EU should directly compete with the United States as the second of three world poles (Asia being the third).

4 - The good of the Union outweighs the UK's selfish and shortsighted act.

Why shouldn't history repeat?

Would America be better-off if it were split into two countries?

Would America be the world's leading economy (by far)?

Citing the close historical precedent I have mentioned, I do not think that the UK should be allowed to leave the EU. Its request should be denied.

dep_b 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sure enough Henry VIII leaving the Holy Church of Rome will lead to all kinds of disaster for the kingdom. Oh wait no, they actually went on to rule about half of the world afterwards.
gonvaled 2 days ago 0 replies      
Theresa May wants deep and special partnership with the EU, without contributing at all to its existence. If every country in the EU does the same, guess what, there is no EU.

And without EU, without compromises, without rules, without standards, without common legislation, nothing of value rests. Just a bunch of countries, a bunch of private enterprises, trying to cherry pick in each an every transaction, looking for the shortest of short term profits, continuously changing course, now associating with this country, now with this other. Now selling round bananas, tomorrow selling bananas polluted with lead. Today not allowing imports of bananas from Romania because they are not straight enough, and tomorrow not accepting them from Italy because they are too straight.

Foreign citizens get expelled with made up reasons, according to what the popular opinion of the moment is. Trucks get delayed or not in a complete obscure manner.

Products get made and exported without any respect for work or environmental regulations. Quality does not satisfy any kind of standards. Nobody can trust any foreign business because there is no institution to complain to in case consumer rights are not respected. Financial products are sold to steal savings from foreign investors - until this is recognized and foreign investors stop using those investment vehicles, completely destroying the market.

redsummer 2 days ago 8 replies      
Great news. Of the four happiest countries in the world, three are European countries outside the EU. Autonomy is crucial to happiness.
SpaceX set to launch used rocket bbc.com
337 points by ethbro  1 day ago   149 comments top 11
jessriedel 1 day ago 2 replies      
blhack 1 day ago 17 replies      
Could anybody here comment on the differences between spacex's engine, and the engines on the space shuttle?

I was under the impression that SpaceX was trying to make the first re-usable rocket stage, but I've recently found out that that isn't true. The space shuttle already holds that title.

I'm also kindof curious why they decided to go with a vertical-landing-design, instead of putting some wings on it and having it glide home like the shuttle did. Is that a weight-concern? Aerodynamics, mabye, but couldn't the wings be articulated in the same way that the landing legs are right now?

(I will admit some ignorance in this field. I'm definitely a fan, but I'm definitely not a historian or a rocket scientist)

the8472 1 day ago 7 replies      
It is interesting that they are confident enough to launch it with a commercial payload instead of doing a test flight with a dummy second stage.
aerovistae 1 day ago 2 replies      
Fingers crossed. In theory it shouldn't be any more dangerous than a first-time rocket, given that they've examined every inch of it and deemed it flawless. If it weren't flawless, obviously they wouldn't be trying to fly it. So we're just hoping there isn't some unanticipated source of entropy, so to speak. As always.
benmorris 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty stoked we are staying right next to Jeti park on spring break and are planning on watching this launch tonight from the beach. We've got to see one other Delta IV launch, but really looking forward to seeing this one. We just missed OCSILY heading out to landing zone, but I got a good view of the parking spot and unloading area.
TeMPOraL 1 day ago 1 reply      
The BBC article doesn't use the word "today" anywhere in the text, nor does it provide a date. Does "X set to do Y later" in journalism-speak mean "later today" instead of "later somewhen"? Is this another idiosyncrasy like using commas instead of "and"?
andromeda__ 1 day ago 2 replies      
The incumbents said it couldn't be done...
brogrammer2 1 day ago 3 replies      

If this launch is successful, how much money SpaceX would have saved by using a 'used rocket' instead of a new one?

jlebrech 1 day ago 1 reply      
reusability is the key to commodity rockets. look at the car and how depreciation works, people will own a rockets after 5 owners for a ridiculously cheap price. at that point fuel will be the number one cost issue and the fuel source will charge.
jlebrech 1 day ago 2 replies      
methane fuel is what we desperately need now, methane is the number one danger to our atmosphere and burning it is the most ecofriendly way of disposing of it.
ivanb 1 day ago 5 replies      
When you launch single-use rockets every next one is more advanced and reliable than the previous one. It includes some of the error corrections that were found during previous launches. This is an often ignored point.

I highly doubt that reusable rockets would be economically viable at our current state of material technology. We need better materials for the engines and the tanks to make them reusable. Even airplanes have to be retired when they still look new just because they've been through multiple pressurization/depressurization cycles and accumulated microfissures. Of course they are not even close to the levels of stress sustained by rockets.

Dropbox Secures $600M Credit Line Ahead of Expected IPO bloomberg.com
284 points by rayuela  1 day ago   196 comments top 25
shubhamjain 23 hours ago 12 replies      
One concern about Dropbox I have is its inability to establish itself beyond its File Storage / Syncing software. Salesforce.com, in comparison, has been acquiring companies left and right. Notable acquisitions of Dropbox, like Mailbox, have either shut down, or are nowhere on the impact map. As Dropbox user (albeit a free one), I don't find it useful for anything beyond synced storage (if there is any new addition in their interface, I might have missed it). After I started uploading pics on Google photos, I have little to store on Dropbox.

Synced storage might be big enough problem for it to continue to grow bigger, but I wonder if it's a meaningful moat. What if the storage + software gets commoditized to an extent that it becomes essentially free for most people?

rrdharan 23 hours ago 1 reply      
[Disclaimer: I used to work at Dropbox.]

TL;DR: The only actual news here is the new line of credit. The folks involved in securing that line of credit only noted that it was secured since the previous line of credit had expired.

There's no real tie to any IPO news here, and the quotes about an IPO come from "potential advisers" and seem to be entirely unrelated to the line of credit news.

> While the company hasn't set specific timing, potential advisers believe it will be ready to go public by the end of this year. Dropbox and its lenders declined to comment.

weston 23 hours ago 6 replies      
Lots of negativity in here, but I'll say I really enjoy how incredibly simple Dropbox is and has remained since it launched.

It's so easy to explain how it works to my non-techie parents ("It's just another folder on your computer, except it backs up your data automatically").

I hope Dropbox continues to thrive.

marcusr 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Dropbox for Business has really changed my view of Dropbox the company. With AzureAD SSO integration, and the new Smart Sync feature, it's now possible to run a small company completely in the cloud, with terabytes of data in the cloud accessible to everyone without them synching it all to their laptop.

Smart Sync is their game changer.

sersi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've stopped using Dropbox for a few years already. Their software was good when I used it but I decided to boycott them after Condoleezza Rice joined their board. I just couldn't trust them with my data after that.

Plus, the fiasco they had with their Mac app comforted me in not trusting them

gruglife 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm hoping someone can help me with this. DropBox is valued at $10b. Their closest competitor, Box, has a market cap of just over $2b. Does Dropbox really offer that much more than Box?
uvince 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I love that they do one thing really, really well. Further:

"Dropbox is the fastest SaaS company to reach $1 billion in revenue run rate" - given that, I don't care if they are profitable or not. They got to $1B faster than Salesforce, as long as they keep this up they'll be just fine.

laurentdc 23 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm failing to see their competitive advantage. Is it the file history? Linux client?

Genuinely asking, I pay 7 / mo for OneDrive (1 TB) and I get a desktop license of Office along with that too.

adtac 22 hours ago 6 replies      
I'll never understand why a company has to keep growing. Obviously I don't have a degree in economics, but why can't a company do well and then continue being so without having the need to innovate all the time? Sorry if I'm missing something big.
rglover 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Still surprised Dropbox doesn't apply their UI/UX talent to taking S3 to the cleaners.
ge96 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If only it didn't use ~1GB of RAM, I used to be a huge fan of Dropbox and I'm still looking for that feature in coding. Something like an auto-github diff upload. I saw some stuff with this I think regarding the particular text editor that I use.

My computer's are garbage that's why 1GB to Dropbox is a lot to me.

Edit: I'm curious how OneDrive compares. I have Windows on a junk laptop I have but I don't use it to work on (too weak). Maybe it has better idle RAM use.

skdotdan 22 hours ago 1 reply      
"Dropbox it's not a product, it's a feature". Don't get me wrong, I'm a Dropbox user myself, but I don't see their actual moat. Isn't cloud storage a commodity nowadays?

IMHO they should have spent money in investing in other productivity companies in order to diversify and be able to offer a complete productivity suite.

5_minutes 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually box.com has several nice features by which they totally outperform Dropbox. One is for example the complete mess many Dropbox folders become, because you can drag an drop them around yourself, rename them etc. Look at anyone's Dropbox folder and things get quite messy rather quickly.

The problem with box.com is that there's no business support at all (nobody answers any emails). And in that regard Dropbox has been doing a really good job and put some effort into it. The product itself is not superior to box.com, quite in contrary actually, but the support is much better. (it's also quite easy since with box.com it's non-existent).

mankash666 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It appears like Dropbox has ~2X the revenue of box with possibly higher costs in marketing and sales, since their investors are pushing for growth. Assuming these higher costs to be nullified by operating their own datacenters, their (fair) valuation is ~$5B. Anyone still wondering why they aren't hurrying to an IPO, what with a plum $10B private valuation and all
olivermarks 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Cloud storage is a commodity business and race to the bottom: hard drive prices already got there as local backup. Failing to see what the ipo upside is here.

A bit melodramatic but the cloud is very new and untested against natural events such as a coronal mass ejection, which could wipe put huge amounts of stored data...the sort of thing that arguably should be in IPO risk lists but isn't...yet...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_mass_ejection

nkkollaw 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally an IPO that makes sense to me.

I can understand the value of Dropbox. Stuff like Snapchat being worth billions just make me feel like I don't know how anything works anymore.

sova 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Way to go Dropbox. Just be prepared for when Operating Systems start shipping this functionality built-in. If you can prepare for that inevitable reality (by, say, providing modules or something for specifically that) then it'll all go great. Great werk so far. Started using dropbox in college and I am an extremely satisfied user. Let me just cue up some Fleetwood Mac
turingbook 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Steve Jobs said when his acquisition proposal was refused by Dropbox founders: it was a feature, not a product.

This is the sword of Damocles for Dropbox.

asimpleguy 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know about Dropbox but for example Twitter is still losing money since 2012. Twitter is way overvalue in the market and has lost around $2 billion since inception. Obviously it's not the same as 2000, these companies have revenue, but some of the are not making even a profit. If they continue to throw tech companies with revenue and losing money as IPOs prepare for the next tech bubble. It will burst.
yueq 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it means the opposite. If a public offering is head, why do they even need line of credit?
joshua_wold 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Thought they were cash profitable??
akulbe 1 day ago 6 replies      
Why can't regular folks seem to get in on an IPO? (Admittedly, I don't understand how all the stock stuff works. It just seems like only big investment firms are the ones that are able to do initial investments.)
flow99 21 hours ago 1 reply      
What can I use for free photo gallery storage if I do not want google or dropbox?
JohnJamesRambo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Investing in Dropbox to me sounds like investing in some other dinosaur like Blockbuster Video or Office Max. Eventually I just don't see people needing Dropbox.
iclabs 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't say I'm a huge fan of Dropbox
Anger as US internet privacy law scrapped bbc.com
313 points by clouddrover  2 days ago   191 comments top 38
bbarn 2 days ago 6 replies      
I remember being so excited as a kid when I started getting drawn into the computing age. I remember when the internet seemed like mankind's next step forward. I remember being excited about so many new trends, social media, the age of everything being free on the internet.

Then, everyone else caught up. Now it's just like watching television. A bunch of companies vying to get you to buy something at any cost, and taking that strategy further than they ever did before the internet.

Now, I just want to leave my phone at home and go ride my bike. I rarely feel like developing anything anymore, haven't done a side project in over a year. Whenever I get motivated to do things like that I see shit like this and it just feels hopeless. There's no way to defeat these companies, because they are full of people struggling to get ahead and doing their cog's part in the machine that ultimately does this to us all.

dguido 2 days ago 7 replies      
Before anyone races in with a suggestion to use a VPN service, I STRONGLY suggest that you consider running your own self-hosted server instead. There is a great set of Ansible scripts to do just that right here:


jsz0 2 days ago 5 replies      
Maybe we should all start running a script that browses random websites at random times. Seems to me that would go a long ways towards making the data collected about as valuable as a magic 8 ball. It would be even better if such a script could actually look at my real browsing history and try to generate the most confusing anti-traffic. If I search for cats it searches for dogs and birds. If I check the weather for zip code X it checks it for zip code Y and Z.
srtjstjsj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ajit Pai's career is the canonical example of revolving door crony capitalism and regulatory capture. His career is dedicated to using the US government to transfer wealth from the public to Verizon.


tucaz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope this is the beginning of a process that will improve this situation in the future.

Not a long time ago people were completely ignorant about this subject. As companies started to take advantage and abuse the lack of awareness of general people they started to do it more broadly and publicly.

Now the idea of lack of privacy is starting to get out on the streets and make people more aware of the problem.

At some point we will be able to turn the table and a strict legislation around privacy will be put in place.

Things are going to improve, but they still need to get worse, before.

acomjean 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am assuming with all the money made selling all this private data, ISPs are going to be slashing consumer broadband rates across the US and building better infrastructure!

Cheaper faster internet for all in the USA!

Wait, they don't have to lower rates, I'll go to the one of the other many ISP options I have...

Oh wait..

iliketosleep 2 days ago 2 replies      
I do not understand. I thought that in the current climate, where people are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about privacy, that such laws would be expanded in scope. But here, the law is being repealed.

Additionally, I find the implications of this kind of admission to be astonishing: Last year, the Federal Communications Commission pushed through, on a party-line vote, privacy regulations designed to benefit one group of favoured companies over another group of disfavoured companies. That's a pretty huge statement, made in a business-as-usual kind of way, that calls into question the overall integrity of the FCC.

confounded 2 days ago 0 replies      
Worth making a shout-out to the independent ISPs that opposed the change (including the Bay Area's own MonkeyBrains & Sonic).

If you're lucky enough to have one, support your local ISP!


jarcoal 2 days ago 0 replies      
If anyone in Portland, OR is looking for an ISP that will respect your privacy, you might try reaching out to Stephouse (https://www.stephouse.net/).

I recently switched to them from Comcast, and this news makes me all the happier that I did.

JumpCrisscross 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am reminded of a conversation with a Russian-born Valley-based venture capitalist. I asked why Silicon Valley seems less politically organized, and thus influential, at the grassroots level than New York City.

"New York is closer to D.C.," she observed. But that doesn't explain why the average person from Silicon Valley has less influence than, say, from Los Angeles.

We're Alan Turings, she said. Turing wanted to be left alone to make things. Unfortunately, his government didn't see similarly. First, with World War II and later by prosecuting him for his sexual orientation. Being able to be left alone to make things is a luxury, a delicate balance almost unprecedented across human history.

We will lose the privilege if we refuse to defend it. Please donate to the EFF [1] or the ACLU [2]. Call your Congressperson [3] and Senator [4]. Get to know their aides. Let your Attorney General [5] know you care about this.

[1] https://supporters.eff.org/donate

[2] https://action.aclu.org/secure/protect-rights-freedoms-we-be...

[3] http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

[4] https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

[5] https://oag.ca.gov/contact

Note: this comment recapitulates an earlier one [I]

[I] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13963777

andr 2 days ago 4 replies      
Ask your ISP. Show them this matters to you, enough to cancel your contract. I asked mine (PAXIO in the Bay Area) and they said they have no plans to sell any customer data.
TOMDM 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, ISP's can sell your data now.The few who use VPN's or other methods to obfuscate/hide their data are a rounding error, big ISP won't care at all because the barrier to entry is at the moment much more complex than installing an adblocker, not to mention, the immediate impact is not so apparent to the average user.

What gets me, in the world we live in data is king, now that the ISP's can use this data, surely they could sell it, but what's stopping them from looking at googles throne?

Google at the moment leverages the data they gather from their services, but your ISP has _everything_

Am I missing something here, or does the endgame look like the issue will be what ISPs choose to do with this data in house rather than out of it.

Not to mention, do they also no longer need to disclose when they suffer a data breach or am I mis-remembering?

All this together looks like it ends with gross oversteps in the use of data by your ISP, not to mention they will do the [three letter agency of choice]'s job for them, all they need to do is find a way in.

SN76477 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can we not just have some representatives browser history leak and blame it on this?
olivermarks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dane Jasper, ceo at Sonic in the bay area has a good track record around privacy...so far...https://corp.sonic.net/ceo/category/privacy/
russdill 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can states enact their own law? California maybe?
skynode 2 days ago 0 replies      
May be a good time to reconsider that move abroad. There are quite a bunch of places that still cherish privacy or don't even bother about privacy (so you run your own infrastructure as you like), while you still get to conduct your business reliably. With an Internet connection and a few good bank accounts (and of course a BTC wallet), you can be anywhere these days and still accomplish so much. But you must be willing to be quite flexible about your worldview and learn.
atheiste 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think there is a hope in free software companies. I am working at one nowadays and we are breaking the law almoust daily and get sued with similar frequency. Now we are installing Lye transmitters into any village which is interested communicating via satelite to bring the internet there. Becoming your own ISP solves the problem right? If we see increase in such behaviour the problem might disappear. Because the future is distributed
methehack 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like one could write a program that continuously (with some sleeping of course) hit random websites in the background. This would hide the "signal" of the sites one is actually browsing. The ISP's data would be much less valuable. The solution to pollution is dilution. I wonder if an approach like that would sufficiently cloak one's data and sufficiently screw the carriers.
bythckr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Honestly, it is for the good. Let it burn. I am hoping for a phoenix.

I met a guy who started a bakery instead of a web startup as he was worried about patent trolls & being bullied by the big companies.

The internet is today over commercialized and it cannot be relied on for accurate information thanks to fake news.

I am reminded of a quote by Jeff Hammerbacher: The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads That sucks..

MichaelMoser123 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't this in conflict with the fourth amendment? Does the US constitution permit this practice?
pdimitar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am waiting for the day a cheery Russian teenager leaks all of the browsing history of several USA senators.

Nothing motivates politicians more than them being directly affected.

As ironically amusing such a story would be, I don't think they'll draw the right conclusion however. They'll probably push for more laws "against terrorism" and will not see such an accident as a proof of how much of a slippery slope the killing of internet privacy is.

LeicaLatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Where is the anger the article refers to? Literally none of the big tech executives who have a voice have spoken up about this. I am not sure we minions count for anything anymore.
singularity2001 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have some ssh server somewhere (who hasn't), you can very easily use 'VPN over ssh' by calling:

sshuttle -r user@remote_host --dns

ktta 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a question. Right now I'm using a cheap $3.49 VPS and it is located in Beauharnois, Canada. How are the privacy laws in Canada? Better than US or worse? Is there anything else I should know?

PS/PSA: It was the best value with unlimited internet I could find. It was the cheapest option from OVH. Cheapest, considering I wouldn't have to worry that the company would shut down. Latency isn't terrible actually.

httpitis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't use it myself, but could the technology behind the tor network [1] (or the product itself) be used to counter this?

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)

swinglock 2 days ago 0 replies      
The only difference between allowing the postal and waste industries inspect what they are hired to deliver, log and sell those logs to whoever pays and allowing the Internet pipe industry from doing it is that it's much cheaper for the Internet pipe business to do so.
JumpCrisscross 2 days ago 0 replies      
Were there any ISPs who did not, if not fight the measure, not overtly support it? Wireless carriers?
dcow 2 days ago 4 replies      
But why should Google be allowed to share your data but not ISPs? Not that I love this move but the reasoning does resonate, or at least make me question if the former law really did anything at all or if FB/Google lobbied it through to stifle competition.
ReinholdNiebuhr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I asked this is in the other thread on this topic, when did the Obama-era rules emerge? If anyone has the bill info that would be ideal. I've been trying to find stuff on google but it's flooded with the current news.
canaglie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get your own VPN server. Convince your friends to get the same and just share resources with them. Mini VPN company :)
toodlebunions 2 days ago 5 replies      
So what's the best VPN that doesn't store or sell their user data?

Surely a new business opportunity if there isn't one good enough to recommend for privacy.

danblick 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there any hope I'll be able to find a major ISP that doesn't sell my data? (Google Fiber, I wish?)
mdani 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to opt out explicitly by requesting the ISP not to share your data?
tobltobs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Who needs privacy as long as you have guns.
Gustomaximus 2 days ago 1 reply      
A great time to start using Opera browser with their free built-in VPN


Disclaimer: Worked at Opera ~5 years ago which is why I'm familiar but no skin in the game now.

acover 2 days ago 2 replies      
Do people actually care? Https makes only reveals the domain not the content. Google/Facebook collect way more information. Everyone keeps using them.

If given the choice of targeted ads vs an extra $30 a month I suspect most people would choose targeted ads.

Edit: remember downvote if you disagree

ericcumbee 2 days ago 1 reply      
It wasn't a law passed by Congress and signed by the president... It was a regulation. There is a difference.
belovedeagle 2 days ago 4 replies      
> will soon no longer need consent from users to share browsing history with marketers and other third parties

This is a lie "fake news", if you will. This congressional action cancels an upcoming change in policy: it maintains the status quo, and therefore "no longer" is not an accurate characterization of the situation.

Open Source License Business Perception Report kemitchell.com
341 points by adamnemecek  1 day ago   166 comments top 36
irfansharif 1 day ago 2 replies      
Kyle Mitchell's blog is an excellent source for the intersection between copyright law and software. Some of his recent interesting posts were on the MIT License[1], his takes on 'open source'[2] and on the ubiquitous LICENSE file[3].

[1]: https://writing.kemitchell.com/2016/09/21/MIT-License-Line-b...

[2]: https://writing.kemitchell.com/2016/05/13/What-Open-Source-M...

[3]: https://writing.kemitchell.com/2016/05/13/License-from-Who.h...

thomasahle 1 day ago 5 replies      
So I get that they equal Strictness with Pain. That's just the perspective of somebody who want to include free software in their nonfree software.

However I don't get why every copyleft licence get a minimum of two ?'s. They write that it is a measure of popularity and quality, but for example

 "EPL-1.0 Best copyleft license. Clear patent license. Professionally drafted." "GPL-2.0 Most popular community copyleft license. Can hire compliance pros."
Those have quality and popularity, but they still get a double ?? in Confusion?

rwallace 1 day ago 4 replies      
So while I previously had regarded the MIT license as the one to generally use for any project where one has decided not to go the copyleft route, this guy seems to be saying it's fine but Apache 2.0, being a little clearer about some edge cases, is the best of all permissive licenses and the one that should ideally be used.

The FSF https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-recommendations.html seems to agree with that.

Can we take that conclusion away and go with it henceforth? Are there any downsides to it at all?

tannhaeuser 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'd like an assessment of the EUPL [1]. IANAL, but supposedly it's an AGPL-like copyleft license adapted to EU (Code Civil-derived) law eg.

- with American and Common Law concepts and terms such as "copyright" translated to concepts meaningful in the EU

- covering "moral rights" (like German UrhG law which has certain rights that you can't transfer at all, such as claiming to be the author of something)

- avoiding overly broad (and hence void) non-liability provisions

- with provision to determine the venue/court to bring cases to.

The EUPL has provisions to integrate EUPL-licensed works into other works and for relicensing under more liberal/non-copyleft licenses, but the cavalier attitude when it comes to copyleft makes it unclear to me whether the EUPL actually is a strong copyleft license (cf what the FSF says about it [2]).

[1]: https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/eupl/og_page/eupl

[2]: https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/eupl/news/new-fsf-stat...

adrianN 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'd go with the recommendation from the FSF


While Kyle Mitchell seems to discourage the use of the AGPL, the description on the FSF site seems to be pretty much what I as a developer who cares about free software would want for server software.

SwellJoe 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's interesting that his perception of the GPL v3.0 and LGPL v3.0 is that it has higher "confusion" than the v2.0 versions (and the highest confusion rating of any of the licenses, only matched by WTFPL, which even I, a laymen, lack confidence in).

I get that the 2.0 versions have been in use a lot longer, and have had some tests in court. But, my understanding was that part of v3.0's purpose was to clarify the license and remove uncertainty about its meaning. They certainly had a lot more resources and experience when constructing the v3.0 versions. It's been many years since I read them side-by-side, but I recall liking the language in 3.0 more than in 2.0.

tscs37 1 day ago 1 reply      
As the author also noted, the MPL is a rather rare license, tho I always ask myself why.

I use the MPL for most of my projects that aren't under MIT simply based on the fact that it feels like the GPL but without infecting any larger projects that want to use my code.

Or am I overlooking something as a IANAL?

kibwen 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is the first I've heard of the EPL. I'd love to hear someone elaborate on why it's listed as the "best copyleft license", specifically with regard to the GPL.
nugget 1 day ago 0 replies      
A note to founders out there working with a heavily open source influenced stack: take a few hours to read through and really understand the history of these licenses and how they work. It's likely to come up in fundraising and m&a due diligence and can cause panic from others (even lawyers) involved in the process who don't understand the fine points and assume that your proprietary code is laden with all sorts of burdensome obligations inherited from open source components.
ISL 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sibling post on the author's blog gives valuable perspective for his background: https://writing.kemitchell.com/2016/05/13/What-Open-Source-M...
bluejekyll 1 day ago 2 replies      
There are a bunch of projects dual licensing, such as "MIT or Apache 2.0"; I'd love feedback on the legal aspects of this.

That is, does a downstream user have option to choose either license ever, or would best practice be to announce which license you default to on usage?

shakna 1 day ago 5 replies      
If I'm reading this right, and I'd need more information on the references used to make the judgments, then a MIT License with a definitive statement on patents (positive or negative) would be a fantastic copyleft license that is:

* Easy for nonlegally minded people to read

* Legally obvious with little room for interpretation

* Easy to be incorporated into larger projects

SadWebDeveloper 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I really dont see whats the confusion on WTFPL, the license states you "CAN DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE", this is code/work i don't want to be entitled nor endorsed nor looking for "royalties". Most corporate people will probably relicense under their own terms the code/work and I (as a developer/creator) couldn't care about it... so whats the "pain" and "confusion" on this lawyer?
pettou 1 day ago 1 reply      
Could someone knowledgable please comment on ISC License [1]? Why would one use it over MIT/BSD?

[1] https://spdx.org/licenses/ISC

Nokinside 1 day ago 1 reply      
Licensors perspective (I know, many licensees will disagree with the first part)

1. If you want to dual license, use either AGPL or GPL (possibly even EUPL) Choice depends on what's your intent is. Choose carefully (EUPL has licensor warrant requirement). AGPL can be perfect for small companies who want to use licensing to generate revenue. Remember to be clear that dual licensing is an option. You can always switch to more permissible license later when you own all the code.

2. Use Apache-2.0, or MIT if you want the code just to be open source.

I would like to hear disagreeing legal arguments.

gpvos 1 day ago 2 replies      
To me, the Apache 2.0 License seems to have too much verbiage. I'd much rather see a license similar to MIT/BSD/ISC but with a patent grant. Could someone write that up in a way that lawyers like it?
dankohn1 1 day ago 0 replies      
This very much fits with my perception on how most company's lawyers understand open source licenses today. But then I would say that, as my organization (CNCF) requires our projects to be licensed under ASLv2 and I wrote this justification for it: https://www.cncf.io/blog/2017/02/01/cncf-recommends-aslv2/
soufron 1 day ago 2 replies      
Strange document. I don't get why Lawyers would be bothered by the GPL or the MIT licenses... in 2017 !

As a Lawyer myself, I am certainly not. Free Software and Open Source Licenses are a great way for developers to get protected, worldwide, at a very low cost - and to achieve their goals and values besides their software itself.

floatboth 1 day ago 0 replies      
What about Zero-clause BSD? https://spdx.org/licenses/0BSD.html (OSI approved, even)

I currently prefer Unlicense but 0BSD looks very nice

kazinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Figures that a lawyer would give a single question mark to some licenses which say "you can use the patents in this code (well, those that are ours, that is), and this license terminates if you litigate us for any reason" but two question marks to the BSD 2 Clause.

A tactical position in the legal arms race is of course clearer than some implicit assurances of peace.

cdubzzz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some very interesting posts on this blog. I particularly enjoyed the 2014 FTC "year in review" post[0], but was sad to find none for other years.

[0] https://writing.kemitchell.com/2015/02/13/FTC-2014-Year-in-R...

libeclipse 1 day ago 1 reply      
What does it mean by the patent clause? What kind of stuff does that cover, and in what scenarios does it become relevant?
giancarlostoro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish he would of included the MS-PL which is not as common but a very decent license if you worry about patent based claims, otherwise has an MIT License vibe.
franciscop 1 day ago 1 reply      
Really nice to know an official opinion. While IANAL, I made a small tool to find out what licenses your packages are using:

 npm install legally -g legally
It should print the licenses and how many times you have them in both a frequency list and a detailed list. I use it mainly to avoid GPL.

itsadok 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there any downsides to multiple-licensing? What happens if I say "This software is released under every license listed in https://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical"?

Just curious.

darekkay 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here are some great resources to get a quick software license overview and help making a decision:

* https://tldrlegal.com/

* https://choosealicense.com/

andrepd 1 day ago 0 replies      
So he basically rates permissive licenses invariably better than copyleft?
eterm 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a shame MS-PL isn't on the list, it would be nice to see where it fits.
kozak 1 day ago 3 replies      
What does "Can hire compliance pros" mean?
peteretep 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is "niched to Perl" meant to mean? I realise it was originally the Perl license, but is it tied to it?
yellowapple 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting that - of three licenses with only one question mark - the Artistic License 2.0 is one of them.

I disagree that it's "niched" to Perl, though; it's much less so than its predecessor at the very least.

madisfun 1 day ago 0 replies      

Fine with commercial users not giving anything back? Apache2.

The best shot to dual-license your free software? AGPL3.

Care about patent attorneys' working hours? EPL1.

Dyslexic? MIT.

melling 1 day ago 2 replies      
What about Creative Commons Zero? I've been told that's a great way to make your small source, etc examples free. I use it on dozens of my github repos:



briandear 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow. As someone who pays little attention to open source licensing it seems like the whole system is just a confusing amalgamation of nonsense. By nonsense I mean that every little organization has their "thing" and you need a lawyer to do anything or keep track of it all.

Can we just simplify the licenses or does everyone need to write their own? Why not just have MIT for all open source and be done with it?

douche 1 day ago 0 replies      
So the GPL sucks. Good to have confirmation on that.
user5994461 1 day ago 1 reply      
Need to add the CCDL: https://opensource.org/licenses/CDDL-1.0

If I recall right, it was written originally by Sun a long time ago, to allow them to open-source their software while giving clear terms to entreprise users to let them combine/integrate software together.

It is unique in some aspects and it is friendly for entreprise.


New male contraceptive may be submitted for Indian approval this year bloomberg.com
337 points by rihegher  2 days ago   314 comments top 21
WA 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is big. This is the future of contraception, because it works, it's incredibly cheap, it has (almost?) no side effects. All current solutions are a joke.

Hormone-based contraception feels like something from the middle ages. It has serious side effects, it has "harmless" side effects that aren't even related to the pill anymore after years of intake, but still an annoyance (migraine, headaches, yeast infections, high blood pressure, ...)

Non-hormonal contraception has its own negative aspects:

- Copper IUDs can cause a lot of pain, inserting them isn't that easy, they are ethically troublesome (eggs can be fertilized after ovulation, but the copper IUD prevents nidation)

- Natural family planning methods are way safer than many people believe (the sympto-thermal method), but don't allow unprotected sex during fertile days

- Condoms are way safer than many people believe as well (as long as you use the correct size) and won't go away because of STDs, but are a bit annoying in relationships

And there really aren't any other alternatives right now. The state of contraception in 2017 is incredibly sad and RISUG is the first attempt, which truly can disrupt (and I don't use this word lightly) the entire industry.

It will require some social shift. Men must be willing to take responsibility for contraception, but it's already happening: Recently, the pill for men was stopped because of side effects, but the men were disappointed. They WANT to have alternatives to condoms.

ph0rque 2 days ago 2 replies      
There's Parmesus Vasalgel that is going through trials in the US, based on this tech. Also, a startup whose name I forget is developing the same kind of tech. They were part of YC Fellowship Batch 3.
earlyriser 2 days ago 3 replies      
I remember reading about this maybe 6 years ago. What was memorable was that the gel was even cheaper than the syringe. It's sad how slow these things move and that we're not going to have that in North-America for a good time.
k-mcgrady 2 days ago 5 replies      
I wonder how this would effect STD rates in areas with bad sex ed? I could see a lot of people thinking 'don't need a condom because I can't make someone pregnant now'.

Not that this product is a bad thing, very useful for people in monogamous relationships.

Markoff 1 day ago 2 replies      
Sounds like interesting option, but 98% efficiency seem pretty unreliable, so I will still be at risk 2 times out of 100 intercourses when not counting other factors.

Personally I consider immediately after having second child vasectomy, though if wife would agree I would do it already now (one child is more than enough for me) plus store sperm in bank just in case if changing mind, since I heard reversing vasectomy ain't that successful. Seem safer with 0.15-1% failure rate than this method.

Batro 2 days ago 1 reply      
This seems quite perfect in theory. Not invasive, lasts for a long time, just one shot and then you're done... I hope the clinical tests will bring good news for that project, because this is something I would do if it comes on the market one day.
Ericson2314 2 days ago 1 reply      
This would seem to be the best birth control for either sex. Fingers crossed it makes it to market.
ams6110 1 day ago 1 reply      
The reason male contraceptives don't get a lot of traction is that men don't get pregnant.
jlebrech 2 days ago 6 replies      
I thought it was going to be a pill, we already have vasectomies.
MichaelGG 2 days ago 2 replies      
Testosterone will also do this. There are long release esters so you only need an injection every few months. Even with a bimonthly shot, it costs about $10/mo. (On mobile, but there was a study in China with T undecanoate showing amazing effectiveness.)

Downside is that in the US, testosterone is, hilariously, Schedule III. But 5 minutes with Google should have you sorted. Can get OTC in other places.

imloquacious 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article fails to realize the true reason men would never use this product: You have to inject it into your testicles.
neuralk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cyberpunk headline of the day!
elastic_church 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Stories like that encourage Guha to persist with the project, he said, even though patents on his invention have long since expired and he wont see any personal financial gain even if it takes off worldwide.

Hm, in America you can get a patent term extension due to regulatory delays in bringing a product to market at other agencies, such as the FDA

Does that not exist in India?

duopixel 2 days ago 4 replies      
Should I have children, I see myself walking my teenage son to the clinic to get this done. A rite of passage of sorts.

It is difficult to understate the importance of bringing only wanted children into this world, and that both parents agree on it. The cultural importance of this invention will be revealed in time, I hope.

patrickg_zill 1 day ago 3 replies      
There is a lot of social commentary on this thread.

Unanswered however is, "How will this affect relationships between men and women"?

The "MGTOW" crowd laud this development, arguing that once control of fertility is in the hands of men rather than women (a woman can always "forget" to take the pill)... something good, as they define it, will happen. (IANAMGTOW - I am not a MGTOW)

In terms of total fertility rate, what does this mean for a country/nation when one population group greatly restricts having kids in terms of moral suasion, societal acceptability, etc. while offering money to those who do have kids? e.g. upper middle class (children discouraged, at least beyond 2 kids) vs. other classes in society (have a bunch of kids).

Living in the USA I have often heard complaints along the lines that we seem to be "discouraging the smart and hard-working people from having kids, while paying stupid people to have them".

TheAdamAndChe 2 days ago 4 replies      
It's definitely too popular to blame everything on middle-aged white guys. It's sad that even bloomberg is jumping on the bandwagon.
nailer 2 days ago 6 replies      
I can imagine the early adopters: male actors, athletes and other men of high social value as a way to enjoy sex without the chance of unwanted offspring.
sergior 1 day ago 4 replies      
jlebrech 2 days ago 0 replies      
at first it doesn't seem as convenient as a pill but I don't think any man would want to "oops i forgot my pill", or say they took it but didn't and if they did that it's not fair on the woman isn't it.
chadlavi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Shut up and take my money/sperm!
wayn3 2 days ago 7 replies      
- I'm not paying money to have needle injecting chemicals with unexplored potential (longterm) side effects into my private parts when the potential success rate is that of a condom. Condoms kind of work.

- "The pill" is a bit more than just a contraceptive. A variety of issues, ranging from skin problems to hormonal imabalances are regulated through the pill, which quite efficiently normalizes outliers in female hormone levels alongside acting as a contraceptive.

The pill is rarely "just" a contraceptive. It reduces menstrual pain significantly and allows women to forego the pleasure of planning for a week of unnecessary discomfort every month.

Every woman I've been sufficiently intimate with to have such conversations describes the daily pill as a small price to pay for all the benefits it comes with.

A male vasectomy is 800 bucks and certainly reversible.

Employee burnout is becoming a huge problem in the American workforce qz.com
315 points by akeck  3 days ago   346 comments top 39
jressey 2 days ago 13 replies      
I've been working professionally in IT for about 6 years now and the concept of 'working too little' has never come up from any of my managers. I have a strict personal policy of working the exact amount of hours discussed upon hiring, and never responding to calls or email outside of those hours. For example I worked at a Fortune 50 with a 37.5 hour workweek and always stuck to that. I even counted the time I spent at lunch. Issue never raised.

I am not saying cases exist where workers are asked to work more than their agreed hours. I killed myself in kitchens for a $25k salary before switching to tech. These cases are a problem.

My point is that this behavior is often self-imposed. People seem to feel a sense of importance when they overwork themselves. Simply stick to the number of hours you've agreed upon and tell your manager to discuss with their supervisor if they bring it up as a disciplinary issue. This all qualified by being in a position of demand as an engineer.

Point is, you'd be surprised with what you can 'get away with.'

theothermkn 2 days ago 12 replies      
I wouldn't doubt overwork as a factor, but the elephant in the room is meaninglessness. Work, like God, is dead. Even for tech workers, the novelty has worn off, and people pretty much realize that the core feature of their jobs is their own economic exploitation.

Burnout, like all pain, may be a feature.

TobyGiacometti 2 days ago 3 replies      
While companies should definitely be doing something about this, at the end of the day it is our responsibility to look after ourselves. Too many people tolerate this type of treatment out of fear. I understand that this is easier said than done, but I do not think the situation will change much unless people start standing up for themselves.

Remember the number 1 regret Bronnie Ware observed while caring for people in the last 12 weeks of their lives: I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

6stringmerc 2 days ago 2 replies      
None of this is surprising if three elements are considered:

1. Productivity has soared

2. Wages have stagnated / wealth gap has widened significantly

3. US Corporate Culture is currently rife with an attitude "Let the Boomers Retire, we have a Hiring Freeze"

There are too few people doing the work of too many, which chokes the upward mobility of the youth, increases the wealth gap between Working and Investing class citizens, and essentially is masochism in the "modern era" of US Consumerism as an economic engine.

Don't believe me? Do some math on stock buybacks 2015-2016 versus publicly announced hirings and layoffs. You'd be surprised how easily this amounts to justification for putting Greenspan and Bernanke in jail. Those guys stole from tens of millions of Americans to benefit a few hundred.

saboot 2 days ago 3 replies      
> The Economic Policy Institute shows that productivity increased by 21.6%, yet wages grew by only 1.8% during this time period.

> Companies need to do something about this burnout crisis now because otherwise, they will pay the high price of turnover.

Hm, what on earth could they possibly do? It's a mystery shrouded in an enigma!

workerexploited 2 days ago 1 reply      
First, the unemployment rate numbers are fudged by UNDERemployment, especially by millennials. It's a BS statistic and more people need to realize this.

Moving on, I'm a millennial that doesn't work as an engineer/developer/programmer/etc. I make less than $100,000 and I live in a major US city because that's where the jobs are.

As noted in the article, it really also comes down to wages just as--but perhaps more than--hours put in. But there's just so much more that is contributing to burnout and the inseparable turnover.

Rant incoming.

EVERY educated and skilled millennial I know like me (non-"STEM") is job hopping like crazy for that ever-so-slight raise and hope that the grass is greener on the other side. Our resumes are getting PACKED with 6-month and 1-year gigs.

Nearly every day on my LinkedIn feed I see someone leaving somewhere and getting a new job.

There are just so many things wrong with the workplace resulting in burnout and turnover today for millennials (humans):

- We're sick of being paid poorly; a dog-friendly office, free snacks, hip lighting in the lobby, standing desks, and free Friday lunch doesn't make up for poor pay

- We're often sick of overpaid-and-often-less-skilled supervisors above us and especially the even more bloated and overpaid management above them

- We're sick of positions where we have no opportunities for growth or development of skills or discovering something new

- We're sick of working with fellow millenials who give even less of a crap than us so they're just lazy and don't pull their weight until they find the next gig--and we often have to pull their weight for them

- We're sick of interviewing in-person and never hearing a word back from crap recruiting and human resources teams

- We're sick of being hired on as "freelancer" or "contract" employees so that we're denied benefits even though we dedicate 40+ hours per week to a company

mti27 2 days ago 0 replies      
Once I accumulated so much rollover vacation time I decided "I'm not working Fridays anymore" which lasted for many months. I found out later someone had complained to my manager about this, since I was unreachable. That same company had experimented with a 7:30 - 11:30 schedule on Fridays (7:30 - 5:30 Mon-Thurs) which was great: you'd miss heavy traffic coming in and get a head start on every weekend. But someone in the field complained about corporate being unreachable and they ended that too.... The problem is the "flexible thinking" people always come up against the "Bill Lumberghs" of the world and everyone is pulled down to the lowest common denominator.
krylon 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am getting paid to work 40 hours a week, and for the most part that's what I do.

I do respond to calls and mails outside of work hours, because we are a 1.5 person IT department, and when e.g. email does not work, it is kind of a big deal. But that does not happen very often. (I used to have that colleague who literally called me every day, even when I was on vacation and sick, but he quit; the guy who replaced him is great though.)

Once a month, servers need to be updated and rebooted, and I do that, too, but I don't mind. It is kind of soothing, in its own way. ;-)

I have no problem working long hours when it is necessary. It happens, even in the best of places; but in places where it is the rule, in my experience, it's because management is too cheap to spring for a decent IT department.

And having been through a case of burnout (which, IMHO, is just a euphemism for depression), you really can't afford the amount of money it would take to make me go through that again. Or maybe you can, but you don't want to. Either way, I am happy to make a modest living working reasonable hours. My boss seems to agree, so we're cool.

(Full Disclosure: I am living and working in Germany, in case it matters.)

pmoriarty 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've suffered severe burnout so many times in my career, resulting in taking years off from work because I dreaded going back. I want to switch careers, but can't think of anything else I'm qualified for that I'd like to do, and it's really hard to switch careers when you're older. I envy people who can do what they love, or at least not hate, for a living.
imchillyb 2 days ago 1 reply      
The saying goes: "I'm being over-worked and under-paid."

When greed for profit over product viability or employee considerations is the /only/ goal of a company, this trend will /always/ be the end result.

Profit is what drives markets, but it is employees that drive companies. Or, it is employees that ruin said companies.

Businesses beware.

jm__87 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you are a skilled employee working in IT and you have experienced burn out, it is likely something you have done to yourself. Do some companies have ridiculously high expectations of their employees: yes. Do you have to live up to those expectations: no. As a skilled IT worker your knowledge and experience are valuable commodities that can presumably be sold elsewhere. The reason that managers can get away with having ridiculous expectations is because their employees let them. Capitalism rewards those who can wring out the most value for the least cost. Many people will take advantage of you if you simply let them.
dragonwriter 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Companies need to do something about this burnout crisis now because otherwise, they will pay the high price of turnover.

No, because it's a tragedy of the commons. Companies who take on extra short term costs to deal with it will lose out to companies that don't; even if long-term, overall, it's a better outcome of companies do deal with it.

The existence of things like this is pretty much the reason for government.

chollida1 2 days ago 3 replies      
I think the below article on burnout is the best thing Marissa Mayer has ever produced!!


If you subscribe to the theory that burn out is all about resentment then it gives you a whole new set of tools to deal with it.

jeena 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I didn't have to work for shelter and food, I'd be an artist. I'd be a photographer [0] and a podcaster [1]. I do both already, but I feel that I never have the time to do both thoroughly and as often as I would desire. I'd need some money for travel actually, so I could photograph and interview people who are interesting but do not live where I do.

[0] https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeena/albums/72157677196990660 [1] https://jeena.net/pods

openforce 2 days ago 0 replies      
Early in my career, my then really good manager taught me to say no, Which was initially difficult for me. But, I am really thankful for that lesson. Learning to stand your ground and say no to excess work is very important if you care about a life outside work.

People from India, like me, especially have a hard time saying NO to being assigned something that, either you have no time to work on or something you don't want to work on. It's a cultural thing combined with the golden leash of H1b visas.I see a lot of my colleagues from India accepting more and more work and end up having almost no life outside of it.

vogelke 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote about why I like being a sysadmin after 29 years on Reddit about 2 months ago:https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/5omi1n/

One of the biggest things that kept me from burning out was realizing that companies (or branches of the service) are neither good nor evil, they're just big. As a result, they'll take whatever you offer and not blink an eye.

korzun 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of people in technology sector think that showing up and writing two lines of code is more than enough to deserve six figure salary now.

The same people will make a big deal about staying late or having to work on a weekend once in a while. The sense of entitlement is pretty mindblowing to me.

milge 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was laid off new years. I've been doing development for 10 years and specializing in salesforce for 7 years. I haven't found the right position yet, but I know I've been burned out for a little bit now. I've been considering low-paying metal-working jobs, but the sad reality is unemployment pays more. Unemployment runs out in June. I'm kinda indifferent whether I find work. I've started the foreclosure process on my house. This may be the perfect time to just take some time and explore the US. So while I haven't found work yet, the work I have done has put me in the mentality that that's ok. Thanks for reading.
st3v3r 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not surprising. People are tired of working long, useless hours for nothing other than to make someone else rich. Workers haven't seen meaningful pay increases in a long, long time. Most haven't seen a vacation in years. No wonder they're just tired of the whole thing.
mnm1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Companies lie about worker burnout so to not seem inhumane when they're well aware of the conditions they create. Short of a statutory or federal law, this isn't going to change. The fact that the salary loophole exists and we refuse to pay even hourly workers overtime if they make too much money (depending on the state and industry) doesn't bode well for our chances of fixing this. Do these same companies wonder why most of their employees are disengaged? Or is that still such a big "mystery" to their blind management?
jondubois 2 days ago 0 replies      
A big problem today is that managers and executives are optimised for short-term gains at the expense of everything else (including long term outlook, ethics and even sanity).

People move up the ranks by making random, crazy one-off bets that turn out great in the short term. Nobody notices people who consistently make good long term bets.

This is compounded by the fact that people who have power these days tend to overlook failure and only consider good outcomes.

smdz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been an employee, freelancer and just moved to being/creating an agency. Retrospectively thinking, burning out as an employee felt much better(and safer) than burning out as an entrepreneur.

As an employee - I always loved pressure times, but then retrospectively disliked "performing under pressure" - why? When I do more work - my manager(s) did not say "you worked so hard and stayed up so late". There was a casual "Thanks". But when there was no work - it is suddenly my fault - "You don't work hard to find work and aren't staying full 8 hours". And just one such bad incident was enough to have my quarterly rating degraded for multiple other good incidents.

As a freelancer - I thought it would be easy - But it wasn't. Of course its not because of client(s) demand. When I worked hourly, every hour counts and pays. I realized I had worked as an employee - for peanuts and sometimes for free. I can now put in same effort and get paid hourly. If I am getting a predetermined price - I work even longer - because its easier to work in a project trance and reduce task switching inefficiencies. I worked long hours and I was trapped. It was just a golden-handcuff.

As an agency - The pressure is on me to grow it. Marketing, managing, hiring and sometimes coding and troubleshooting issues and much more draining is troubleshooting team issues. My ambitions are now bigger than they ever were. Even if I am on a not-so-frequent vacation, I cannot stop thinking about work - "after all its my biz now, if I don't think who will" - I keep brainwashing myself with that. Most of my leisure weekends are combined with some sort of low-pressure work.

The answer to killing burnouts is not in the law - but in the society. The society today celebrates "entrepreneurship, grilling and hard work" for material wealth. We celebrate the next Facebook entrepreneur, but we don't celebrate social entrepreneurship. Everybody wants more, more and more material stuff (myself included). We are being brainwashed to want more than what we need. If you look around there are many people working so hard just to make a decent living. They do valuable work too. As an employee I may get paid 5 times more because I create business value - while they create lesser business value and arguably add higher social value.

terminallyunix 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been in IT for 20 years next year. I've been a sysadmin this entire time. Back in Virginia (Silicon Valley East), I made great money, but here in Texas, I make a pittance.

I'm in my mid 40s and have been looking to get into something else, but building on my existing skills. No one is even looking at me.

I'm toying with the idea of maybe going it alone. Start a small IT consultancy. Not sure what angle to look at this from.I'm not trying to put out a "woe is me" here, but rather appeal to the others in here that are toying with the idea of maybe going it alone in some capacity.

I've put out literally tons of resumes/CVs in the last couple of years and nary an interview. It's not like I don't have skills, but it seems that employers now want sysadmins to also be programmers and network engineers and coffee monkeys all at the same time.

I've also entertained the notion of getting out of IT altogether, but it's all I know. A guy I know bought a small cleaning company and he now cleans houses for the wealthy at 150-200 a house x 4 houses a day. He splits this with one other person. Not quite sure. But in my mid 40s, I don't think my body could handle a purely physical job.

BrandonY 2 days ago 0 replies      
That photo's position, overhead and looking down a long hallway of cubes, with some meaningless but chipper corporate slogans as well as some very serious business-looking stuff, reminds me of the opening office shot of the game Stardew Valley: http://www11.onrpg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Stardew-Va...

That game's protagonist, perhaps not coincidentally, burns out on their office job and decides to go become a farmer.

burntoffice 2 days ago 0 replies      
The two years I spent in Corporate America on any given day was either living an episode of The Office or Office Space.

People burnt out by fire drills coming from above, scared to use PTO as it was "bad optics", not receiving credit or appreciation, etc.

WORTH REMEMBERING: By nature of an employee showing up daily is to perpetually commit to the job. It is entirely up to person and their risk capacity. Saw a lot of "stuck" people who didn't like their job, but also wouldn't venture out to change that or actually tap into their true potential.

snarf21 2 days ago 0 replies      
The biggest problem is American corporate work is mostly busyness and not enough business. Too many layers and too many people who spend all their time trying to justify their position and not adding value.
deletia 2 days ago 0 replies      
Employee burnout happens because the majority of businesses today cling to a 20th century, mass production designed, work model (9am-5pm workday, ass in seat productivity measure) while employees are forced squeeze their lives around a corporation for "security".

I recently wrote a post which outlines this idea in a slightly broader context (those interested can visit https://allidina.me, feedback & constructive criticism welcome).


d--b 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am happy to say that in the hedge I am working at, work hours have gone down a lot.

When I joined in 2010, I would start at 6.45am and finish after 9pm everyday. There was a lot of stuff to do.

But once the platform improved and the workload reduced, so did the working hours. I am now doing 9 to 6 approximately, which is pretty great.

I also removed emails on my smartphone. Best move ever.

Push for it. Working less is worth it.

awinter-py 2 days ago 1 reply      
Investing $$ in employee happiness and retention is a tricky signaling problem.

If you need the best people, you probably should care about retention.

What if, on the other hand, your managers suck so much that good and bad workers perform at the same level? In this case signaling to your people you don't give a crap about them puts you in a powerful negotiating position.

rux 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's from a while back, but here Treehouse describe how they operate on a 9am-6pm four-day week.


I remember talking to Ryan Carson (the guy who put this into place) at a conference and he said that the results from doing it were overwhelmingly positive.

2sk21 2 days ago 0 replies      
I often joke that I have to take vacations to get real work done. My company like many does not allow vacation to be rolled over so, I usually wind up taking off the last two weeks of December. This is truly when I get my thinking done - I can spend the entire day from morning to night looking at code without any interruptions.
jakozaur 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not enough holidays?

I know a lot of ppl in USA which take too little or none of them for quite a while until they burnt out.


rconti 2 days ago 1 reply      
"67% said that they think their employees have a balanced life, yet about half of employees disagree."

owww, my head!

danielschonfeld 2 days ago 0 replies      
Allow me to put this here, seems appropriate.http://slots.info/love-hate-map/#/map
encoderer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I question the veracity that American's are working harder than ever before. I think we have higher wage productivity than ever before, and that is not the same.
Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unions. The people who brought you the weekend.
kafkaesq 2 days ago 0 replies      
...and yet those cubes are possibly sumptuous compared to some I've been asked to work in.
Florin_Andrei 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Vacations allow employees to regenerate so they can elevate their productivity upon return.

Sounds like 1975.

dsfyu404ed 2 days ago 1 reply      
Everyone comes in this thread to complain about how bad life sucks because you don't get two months of vacation time for existing and can't use your sick days on a paper-cut but most of these people will turn right around and talk about how great their employer is if the article is a positive one.
VPNs are not the solution to a policy problem asininetech.com
295 points by staticsafe  2 days ago   218 comments top 37
nikcub 2 days ago 9 replies      
There are a few schools of thought on where responsibility should lie in protecting user privacy. The first that it is a role of government and policy - in the same way the government sets standards for automobile and road safety they can set and enforce policies for user privacy.

The second school of thought is individual responsibility. Users should take steps to protect their own privacy on a case-by-case basis, in the same way they look after their own home security or personal safety.

The third would be a hybrid approach - that there is a role for the government to play in setting up a universal minimum level of privacy protection while users also have a role to play in their own protection. This is most akin to how healthcare works - i'm guaranteed treatment in an emergency room but I also might choose to keep myself healthy with diet, exercise etc.

I personally believe in user responsibility for personal privacy and security, where you can't and shouldn't depend on policy to protect you and that all users should be aware of the issues and actively educated on how to protect themselves. For a few reasons:

1. Policy is not universal. Some countries may have extensive and rigorous user privacy protections but that doesn't apply to users everywhere. While user privacy protections are strong in Europe, and consumers have access to recourse if they're privacy rights have been violated, that same advice doesn't apply to the majority of internet users, most of whom are residents of a nation or jurisdiction where there is no strong protection or user recourse.

2. Governments are a major party in privacy violations and are conflicted, so they can't be expected to behave in the interest of users. The most recent campaigns to roll out encrypted communications and connections in apps was prompted by the US government intercepting internal Google data. The government will almost always be incentivized to lower barriers to ease intelligence gathering and in most of the world government surveillance trumps individual rights.

3. Similarly, government can't be trusted. This is the point Ed Snowden made when he argued for individual and tech solutions to privacy over government policy[0]. Snowden cites the difference in Obama's campaign promises and what he delivered[1], and this isn't unique to Obama - the FCC ISP privacy rules being blocked this week is yet another example of how easily and quickly policy can be undone, while the mass surveillance Snowden disclosed is an example of how public policy and private actions can be different.

4. Tech solutions to privacy doesn't imply individual responsibility. We can, and do have, tech solutions that are universal - such as the campaign to roll out encrypted communications and connections with Whisper and LetsEncrypt.

5. Policing government policy is labour intensive and difficult. It relies on privacy researchers - usually individuals - to track what companies are doing with user data. With more data being shared between companies it is even more difficult to apply individual oversight to how policies are being enforced. See Natasha Singer's reporting in the NYTimes on data brokers[2]

6. There are usually very minor enforcement penalties for companies that violate user privacy policy. The FCC tracking opt-in rules were prompted by some ISPs adding tracking headers or cookies to user traffic. AT&T and Verizon were adding tracking cookies to user traffic and it took two years to notice, and there were zero implications for both companies[3] other than the new FCC rules which are now dead.

7. Even in the perfect world of good policy, good application of policy and good enforcement you still have more data than ever being stolen and leaked online. You only have to look yourself up on haveibeenpwnd or a similar database to find that for a lot of people, all of their PII has already leaked[4]

It is very clear to me that technology solutions have the primary role in protecting user privacy. Policy isn't a waste of time but it can't be relied upon. The question is how user privacy protection is packaged for a mass-audience. User privacy requires an equivalent of what 'use WhatsApp, use Signal' is for user security, what 'install antivirus, don't click on attachments' used to be for user security and the growing popularity and awareness of ad blockers.

I'm not sure what that will be or what it will look like, but warning people away from VPN's probably isn't going to help. Chances are that some form of VPN connection will become part of the standard solution (along with HTTPS/encrypted comms everywhere) now that the reality of ISPs and users not sharing privacy interests is here and many are aware of it.

Theres a great market opportunity here - perhaps not for VPNs as a product but VPN as a technology.

[0] https://www.wired.com/2016/11/despite-trump-fears-snowden-se...

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2016/11/10/edwar...

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/business/a-data-broker-off...

[3] https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150115/07074929705/remem...

[4] https://haveibeenpwned.com/

jfoutz 2 days ago 4 replies      
Lots of people seem to think the right answer is selling improved security. I disagree. It would be much more exiting to get the data coming from politicians homes, and the homes of their staff. It would be a fantastic way to generate news. Why is senator X's household researching cancer treatment? Will they step down this year? I can't help but think military bases would google their next deployment, that's another set of huge news articles.

If you're more into the finance side of things, CXO's home clickstreams would probably be enlightening. Or hedge fund managers. Some will be fully encrypted and secure, but just the dns would be a strong signal about what companies they're researching.

That is the kind of business that will drive privacy legislation.

Goopplesoft 2 days ago 4 replies      
A heads up: theres a really nice project called Streisand[1] which provides a multi-protocol VPN with very little effort. You can launch one on a cheap cloud provider (like DO, if their policy allows).

[1] https://github.com/jlund/streisand

FridgeSeal 2 days ago 5 replies      
No, they're not.

The solution is getting strong, enforced laws that protect our privacy and punish those who break them.

But for the moment, with advertisers viewing themselves as gods gift to the internet who think that all your information belongs to them simply by virtue of existing, and who will go to great lengths to acquire and store it all (for perpetuity), a solution is needed, and part of that is VPN's.

dfc 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's strange to see the evolution of the technology versus policy debate. We started out with "the Internet views censorship as damage and routes around it." A little later we had Lessig saying "code is law." And now the refrain is "VPNs are not the solution to a policy problem."

I miss the idealism and optimism of the past. The only hopeful thing I can find in the new "quote" is that it seems that the tech world is finally aware of the need to work with policy makers and the public in addition to building new systems.

byuu 2 days ago 8 replies      
Another thing often overlooked with VPNs is that they're just not that fast. I have a 600/40 connection, and I've tried at least six for-pay VPN providers. The fastest one I found (won't mention as my goal isn't to advertise for them) hits, at best, 100/30. And even then, only over L2TP. For whatever reason, OpenVPN is always slower on every PC I've tried this with.

And obviously, you gain a good deal of latency, especially if you use an overseas exit point.

And now we get to deal with shitty services like Netflix punishing privacy-conscious users and blocking access to paid accounts while your VPN is up.

sjwright 2 days ago 3 replies      
Perhaps one solution might be to poison the data and have your router/device make spurious random DNS lookups and HTTPS connections. Ensure the list of random websites includes the top few hundred companies likely to be in the market for usage data. If enough people did this it would make the data useless.
jdoliner 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why aren't VPNs, and more broadly encryption, a solution to this problem? "Waving the wand of a technical solution," as the post pejoratively calls it, isn't such an unreasonable thing to do with an inherently technical problem. This problem only exists because of other technical wands we waved. Why solve this problem with policy? Policy is hard to get passed, hard to keep passed and even when it is passed often times it means nothing. Remember this is the same government that contains multiple organizations surveilling your every move, not because they legally can, because they illegally can. The point is, it's foolish to count on USG to give you a right to privacy, just look at the history on this, it's not going to happen. But it's especially foolish when this is a right that you can enforce for yourself. If you actually care about your privacy use a VPN, or Tor, don't sit around waiting for the government to do it for you.
libeclipse 2 days ago 1 reply      
I understand the viewpoint of the article, but it assumes that the person waving the wand particularly cares about everyone else.

Personally, with the Investigatory Powers Bill in the UK, I will "wave the wand of a technology solution" to conserve and protect my own privacy.

Sure, if the policy was changed upstream then a lot more people would benefit than the technically inclined folks, but if there's a bug upstream we don't all sit with it and wait, we fix it locally and vendor.

guelo 2 days ago 3 replies      
One thing I was wondering, beyond your own personal ISP, does this mean that the backbone providers, the Level 3's of the world, are going to get into selling data to advertisers? I was feeling personally ok because I use an ISP with a strong privacy pledge, but I wonder if their uplink is going to be selling my data. Though I guess it's less of a concern since the backbones don't have the complete personally identifying info that the customer ISPs have.
WhitneyLand 2 days ago 0 replies      
What would be wrong with selling preconfigured routers to solve the problem?

The router could talk to a standard web api to get information to configure itself. The web service behind the scenes could set up and teardown digital ocean droplets as necessary running streisand. The web service IP's wouldn't be blocked because they'd only be used to periodiy get configuration.

So then you buy a non technical person this router, they create an account on the configuration website and as Ron Popeil would say, set it and forget it.

philip1209 2 days ago 4 replies      
I think the bigger hole is DNS. Full-tunnel VPNs to primarily TLS-encrypted sites seems like overkill. Encrypted DNS plus an "HTTPS Everywhere" plugin should obfuscate enough info for most people without significantly affecting latency.
joveian 2 days ago 1 reply      
One nice although limited alternative to openvpn is sshuttle:https://github.com/sshuttle/sshuttle

The limitations are: no ipv6 support :(, sometimes leaks dns, and always crashes shortly after it is first started (then works fine when you start it again). There seems to be little active development.

To work around the limitations, I mostly use SOCKS (curl also supports SOCKS), plus run sshuttle to try to catch any additional traffic. For that matter, SOCKS alone would at least catch the most sensitive traffic for most people (and would make it easy to have another browser profile for watching netflix).

I get a $15/year OpenVZ account from ramnode.com, which supports VPN usage. I haven't had an issue with bandwith (it seems to undercount quite a lot) but don't watch netflix or otherwise use that much bandwidth.

The main issue I've had is that some websites (google, amazon, gog) will default to various other languages that I assume other people who are doing the same thing speak. Fixed by logging in to the site and they then seem to remember for a while even if you don't log in, but eventually they switch again.

The nice thing is that the remote server can be configured to just have an SSH server on port 80 (in case you ever want to use it from restrictive public wifi; I first stated to do this after seeing SSL downgrade errors on public wifi) with public key authentication, so there is much less to worry about in terms of being responsible for a system open to the internet all the time. In SSH, I set:

 KexAlgorithms=curve25519-sha256@libssh.org HostKeyAlgorithms=ssh-ed25519-cert-v01@openssh.com,ssh-ed25519 Ciphers=chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com MACs=hmac-sha2-256,hmac-sha2-512
So still not a super easy option but a somewhat easier option than OpenVPN. It would be quite easy with an automated way to set up the remote ssh server correctly.

Edit: Speed is quite good with this setup and while I haven't done extensive comparisons, it does not seem to lower the connection speed by much.

andrenotgiant 2 days ago 3 replies      
Until a better solution is found, I think the way the recent IOT botnet stuff + this ISP privacy deregulation is portrayed in the media opens the opportunity for a startup that sells a secure, smart home router + VPN subscription plan.
quantumfoam 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'll just leave this here: https://github.com/trailofbits/algo/blob/master/README.md

I used a droplet on DigitalOcean to configure an Algo server. Very seamless setup, highly recommend. There's a $10 promo floating around: DROPLET10. You can self host too.

nine_k 2 days ago 0 replies      
Technology used to trump policy, in an unstable but stubborn way. Napsters and piratebays die, but file sharing lives. It's less intense now nit because of policies, but because legal ways to buy most music and videos became reasonably convenient for the mass user.

How well might connectivity limitation work? It took China immense centralization and a lot of technical effort to build the great firewall, which is not exactly impenetrable, though.

frebord 2 days ago 0 replies      
This whole damn thing spawns from the lack of competition with ISPs. If consumers had more than 1 or 2 options, we could choose with our money. I don't think the solution is to regulate the industry, but our privacy should certainly be protected by our fucking useless government.
siculars 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ya, this sucks... a lot. VPNs are a start with existing tech. I firmly believe new technology will solve this problem. Encryption everywhere. Overlay networks. New fully encrypted and annonymized DNS systems. Digital currency incentivizations. Policy helps but in the absence of policy technology will find a solution.
pryelluw 2 days ago 7 replies      
Ok, so which vpn providers are good?
vxxzy 2 days ago 1 reply      
At the end of the day, it is obvious that policy is the right direction to stop this bleed of infringement. However; be it noted: those who have the capability to circumvent, or ethically "get around" such enchroachment; have a responsibilty to free those who may be entagled by that which is "freedom limiting". The argugment could be had, however; is it really freedom limiting for others to know your web history? Obviously, there are second, and third abilities to be held when a dominant party knows of the lesser's behavior. Still a great bit to parse. As for me and my house, we will tunnel safely through VPN.
BatFastard 2 days ago 5 replies      
Does anyone sell a router for the home that has a VPN built in?

So that I dont have to have every computer in my home hook into the VPN when I start it up. Just one account for my whole house?

I imagine you could setup a linux box to do that for you, but I am lazy...

cottsak 2 days ago 0 replies      
VPN providers can totally scale. They will cease to be semi-dark-web services and turn first class. Services that test them will emerge verifying the security and encryption of tunnels.

Additionally there will be some who take an extreme view to this "zero knowledge" approach offering all forms of payment and workarounds to preventing down-stream ISPs/backhaul from tracking/identifying/classifying user traffic.

Maybe VPNs "are not the solution" but they still can do a lot of good in the mean time yet.

bayouborne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Look to Comcast and TW to buy a few of the mid-tier established VPN providers, and then play both sides of the table.
herbst 2 days ago 1 reply      
After reading digital ocean the 10th time on here. What makes people think that using a american company that complies with american laws and regularly gives out data is a much better option than renting a VPN in a country that still has privacy in place?
Proof 1 day ago 0 replies      
I swear this 98 percent of this article was from the Policy Change HN read yesterday.

I think the market for VPNs that have a policy for not keeping logs and easy-to-use will grow exponentially in the common days or weeks. For the more technically inclined, VPSproviders.

godzillabrennus 2 days ago 1 reply      
The solution to all of this is educating the population.

VPN tech is cheaper and more likely to succeed.

chx 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had all sorts of VPN problems over the years with various Linux desktops OS. What I do instead is that I have a proxy server with just an OpenSSH daemon on port 443 -- if there's web traffic, add sslh to taste -- and then use the SOCKS v5 proxy built into OpenSSH client and then http://darkk.net.ru/redsocks/ I might be the weird case here but I found this infinitely easier to set up than any VPN.
ollieco 2 days ago 0 replies      
PrivacyTools.io [1] has a great list of resources (not just VPNs but also email clients, email providers, browsers, OSs) that can be used.

If you are using Firefox, be sure to follow everything mentioned in the "about:config" hacks section.


pnutjam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I run x2go on a linux server that I connect to remotely for browsing. It's at my house currently and configured to use a vpn, but I used to have one in the cloud.

I wonder if people would be interested in dedicated browsing VM. Unfortunately there is no good mobile client.

chlordane 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure you all remember this read from 6/1/2016:

The impossible task of creating a Best VPNs list todayhttps://arstechnica.com/security/2016/06/aiming-for-anonymit...

johanneskanybal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not the solution perhaps but the next natural move of a cat and mouse game that predates the current policy change. It boils down to: Keep the internet lawless because there's no global entity that has my best interests at heart.
logicallee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Although it would not be a solution, see my request for Google to do this posted a few hours ago:


awqrre 2 days ago 0 replies      
if I can buy your browsing history, I should also be able to buy your tax returns...
gshakir 2 days ago 0 replies      
How about Apple provide a VPN as part of the device? Remember Apple was the one that broke the telecom's dominance on the mobile market. I wouldn't mind paying Apple for the privacy.
dredmorbius 1 day ago 0 replies      
The (presently) top-rated comment on this thread by nikcub is not only wrong, but fractally wrong in every particular. I'm offering this as a possible counterpoint.


* False dichotomy: that the solution lies in only one sphere. (Lessig, Code). This is lightly moderated, but resurfaces at several later points in the argument.

* Personal responsibility. Check. Never mind that the source article states concisely and specifically why this doesn't work or scale.

* Hybrid system. Or as I prefer, the worst of both worlds. In the healthcare example, a guarantee of emergency room services is posited as a sufficient mitigation for mandating individual responsibility in all other areas. Disregarding the fact beneficial health outcomes comes from public or preventive measures, not acute (read: late, expensive, heroic measures) interventions:

"In all, 86 per cent of the increased life expectancy was due to decreases in infectious diseases. And the bulk of the decline in infectious disease deaths occurred prior to the age of antibiotics. Less than 4 per cent of the total improvement in life expectancy since 1700s can be credited to twentieth-century advances in medical care."

Laurie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health

* As with all good Techno-Libertarians, nikcub "personally believe[s] in user responsibility". Despite some 50+ years of experience that user responsibility for security simply does not work or scale.

Nikcub continues with specifics:

* Universality of policy. Which seems to boil down to "since every jurisdiction cannot offer the same high levels of protection, no jurisdiction should". What ever happened to the concept of a competitive marketplace for ideas, including legal and moral frameworks? Isn't the very idea of liberal democracy that its principles, premises, and protections are so manifestly self evident that all people everywhere would want them? (And hence: why it's such a major pain in the ass of tinpot despots everywhere.)

* Some governments are bad ... so no governments can be trusted. Again: a slope so slippery nikcub loses his footing instantly. We can apply the same argument to ... anything. Including his proposed technological solutions: Software is a major party in privacy violations and is conflicted (and buggy), so it cannot be expected to behave in the interest of users. In government as with software, the proper response to buggy implementations is to fix the bugs, not burn the house down and abandon the domain completely.

* Government trust. Where do I even start (the concept and questions of trust are ... a whole 'nother essay). If liberal democratic government, the agent and agency* of The People, cannot be trusted, then what can?* Private, self-interested business? Which, I'll hasten to add, has landed us in the present kettle of fish? If you're finding that your government (or parts of it) aren't trustworthy, then you have two problems. But the one doesn't invalidate proper approaches to the other, and fixing the problem of government trust gives you an exceptionally powerful tool to apply in remedying privacy and other policy failures. Say, such as single-payer, universal, socialised medicine.

* Tech solutions that are universal ... are called policy. And, to add to that, a primary reason for approaching such policies through government is that governments have the clout and scale to make policies stick. Keep in mind that this need not be at national or international scales. Policies at the sub-national scale -- say, Northern Ireland or Scotland within the UK, or California or New York within the United States, could have major impacts. Given the option of adopting multiple and conflicting regulatory standards, or a unified and coordinated standard, companies will often prefer the latter. The case of US EPA and California EPA emissions standards would be an excellent study in same.

* Good policy is hard work. Yes, well, hard problems are hard. This doesn't make them not worth pursuing. And remedying the specific problems highlighted would be a key goal of any privacy regulatory overhaul.

* Penalties are small. Well, duh: embiggen them. I thought yuuuuge!!! was in now, anyways....

* On information disclosure: yes, it's very hard to un-leak data. On the other hand, comprehensive and pervasive regulations against the storing or transmission of personal data, stiff penalties for doing so, and sufficient rewards for reporting on such violations, will tremendously decrease the incentives for doing so. Given that the value of vast troves of personal information to firms such as Facebook is ... roughly $12/year per person, those penalties need not be tremendous, though they do need to be sufficient given scales of detection. This isn't dissimilar to present approaches against counterfeiting of money or goods: the fundamental capability to violate norms exists, but with appropriate penalties, and incentives, against transacting in such money or goods, it can generally be tamped down to an acceptable level. The more so if technology and other means are applied in concert with policy.

The argument continues spewing the additional canards of perfect worlds (no policy world is perfect, at best it is sufficient), sole reliance, and of mis-casting the argument as warning people away from VPNs (it doesn't, it merely points out that VPNs alone are grossly insufficient).

And for the capper, we have free-market it harder. As if it wasn't free-market interests, and failures, which haven't landed us precisely in the present situation.

7HNajAH 2 days ago 0 replies      
So which VPSs are good for privacy? We all know DigitalOcean, AWS and Linode as simple to set up and use VPSs, but does anyone have any recomendations of VPSs based on their terms? I currently use DO for my VPS/VPN, but i've seen people voice concerns about them in the past. Is there a list of 'most free' providers?
Jeff Bezos Is Now the World's Second Richest Person bloomberg.com
291 points by huangc10  1 day ago   511 comments top 24
tabeth 1 day ago 20 replies      
Everytime I see these types of articles I wonder if we're still in feudalism. Should we really be celebrating that a single individual is worth more than hundreds of millions of people[1]? I dunno, it seems dystopian, like we're enslaved to the system.

[1] https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-01-16/...

sudhirj 1 day ago 3 replies      
I just don't get this complaining about wealth concentration - for every person capable of complaining on an online forum that some people have 100 to 1000x the wealth they do, there are also likely to be more people that exist who have 1000x less than you. How exactly am I any more entitled to the wealth of those richer than me, than are those poorer than me entitled to my (relative) wealth?

It seems to me that the problem with the totem pole is that each level is logarithmic, but always talked about in absolute terms. If my boss makes 10x and her boss makes 10x of what she makes, aspiring to 100x my wealth looks like a completely impossible goal in my lifetime - but it's really just two promotions.

An argument could be made that some people try to sabotage those attempting to climb the totem pole, but once someone has reached the top and did not illegally interact with anyone they passed on the climb, why all the hate?

Keyframe 1 day ago 3 replies      
Kudos to him, hopefully he will go all in on some crazy idea eventually. I still have this feeling amazon (as in online store) isn't all that big outside of US/english-speaking world.

I do have a question though. When you have that much net worth and you get plastered all over the press about how much you have... What do you do then? What's your life then like? Seems like a nightmare, especially if you have kids and family. Do you become a prisoner of your own wealth then, guarded by people - never be able to just roam about, take a random tourist tour with your spouse, a road trip or whatever? Money is nice to have, but there are things you definitely lose, it seems. Is it worth it to be at that level?

dkrich 1 day ago 3 replies      
I know that I'll get skewered for this, but here goes: recently I've convinced myself we are on the verge of a very serious Amazon stock correction. Just today I saw three separate articles (without seeking them out) giving umpteen reasons Amazon is going to a trillion, or that Amazon is only getting started. Then I turned on CNBC during lunch and what are they talking about? Amazon.

There's simply too much positive sentiment around this company and it makes me very nervous. It reminds me of 2007 when everyone was making a killing on real estate and the idea was laughable that the market would reverse. The stock is way overbought and the only questions I have are "by how much?" And "when is the reversal coming?"

There are other reasons I'm skeptical about Amazon remaining at its current valuation. One major one is that the meteoric rise in the stock price has coincided nicely with the economic recovery. Amazon's ecommerce business is one that's built for good times. It remains to be seen how they fare in downtimes. What I mean by that is that much of what I see people buy on Amazon (myself included) are largely frivolous gadgets that one simply wouldn't buy in a time of economic fear. Right now people largely feel wealthy and feel comfortable shelling out for prime memberships and willing to pay a premium for convenience. In a down economy that's the first thing to go.

Of course a down economy will weigh heavily on most companies, but I believe especially so on Amazon because it is a stock that is already overbought and relies on people buying shit they don't need for the sake of convenience.

Apart from that I believe they will face increasing competition from Alibaba, Walmart, and others.

Finally, there are the numbers. Despite the $400+ billion valuation, Amazon did less that a billion in profit from their ecommerce business last quarter! The stock shot up because that was higher than analysts predicted!

I have serious doubts about the long term profitability of Amazon's ecommerce business. Physical delivery of goods, particularly last mile delivery is just too expensive. Sure, drones might come but I wouldn't base an investment on that hope.

My prediction is that an economic downturn is going to send this stock into a tailspin.

mvpu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks to you. And me. Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet have our paychecks covered. Warren's companies take most of what we spend offline, Jeff's companies take most of what we spend online.
nier 1 day ago 6 replies      
Would it be possible for a guy like Jeff to sell all his stock and convert his wealth to, lets say, gold? The motivation for my question is my doubt that the different sources of wealth are comparable. So this ranking is hypothetical. Wouldnt the stock price drop if someone was to sell so many shares?
72deluxe 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is interesting to know that Bill Gates is still the world's richest. Thinking about how little I have directly spent with Microsoft is interesting.

I bought Windows 3.11 from a computer fair. I got Windows 95 from school (proper CD, not a pirate). I bought a computer that came with Windows 98 (and a lame Cyrix processor), got an XP licence from a case someone was throwing out, skipped Vista, bought Windows 7 Pro system builder from eBay (proper version, no pirate copy, I don't like pirating software). I then got a free upgrade to Windows 10.

Hardware, I think I bought an xbox 360 controller for the PC. I got given an old generation 1 xbox (since retired) and a load of games. Bought Office 2003 from eBay (proper version, OEM with hardware to satisfy licence) when Office 2007 was all the rage (so it was cheap). I think my brother once bought a Sidewinder joystick (had the footprint of a large dinosaur, such a big piece of hardware).

Then I used the Express editions of SQL Server (MSDE before that), Express editions of Visual Studio and now the Community as I am a Lone Ranger developer at home.

Oh and I bought a laptop that had Windows 10 on it so I guess they had a cut of its value.

So basically Microsoft have had very little direct money from me, despite basically being responsible for my employment for the last 15 years (I write apps under Windows).

I have spent more money with Parallels Inc as they force me to "upgrade" every year (every other year if I can help it) despite Apple introducing a new virtualisation layer a couple of releases ago.

So thanks Bill.

israrkhan 1 day ago 2 replies      
it is amazing how Bill Gates remain richest person in the world despite donating billions to Melinda & Gates foundation.
nojvek 1 day ago 2 replies      
World's two richest men from Seattle tech companies. I hope some of this money translates to venture capital. Number of successful startups in Seattle pale in comparison to SV
laughfactory 19 hours ago 0 replies      
He would be wise to cash out now while the getting is good. Amazon has an enormous problem with counterfeit goods in many categories. Unfortunately, when the implosion happens it will likely be incredibly fast and catastrophic. How might this happen? People get sketched out by their own, or other's experiences with fraud on Amazon, and simply decide to buy from other sources. I suspect this is a tipping point situation where it's not a slow decline, but instead a very fast one. For instance, my wife and I used to do most of our non-grocery shopping on Amazon. But recent horrific experiences (in spite of Jeff and his team stepping in to rectify things) and questions about what we'd actually get if we order something from Amazon means that now we don't buy nearly as much--mostly just Kindle books now. I just think that at some point most of their customers will stop shopping with them all at once because of fraud concerns, they'll stop subscribing to Prime, and next thing we know the company will be broken up and sold piecemeal.

I'm afraid Amazon thinks they have a lot more time than they actually do to think about what, if anything, they want to do about the problem.

11thEarlOfMar 1 day ago 3 replies      
With a little math, we are not-too-many years from the world's first US$ trillionaire.

Using Mr. Bezos as the example:

US$ 72,000,000,000

Annualized gain of, say, 10% on AMZN stock

Over a period of 27.6 years

1.1^27.6 * US$72,000,000,000 = ~US$ 1,000,000,000,000

Just in time for his 80th birthday.

aabajian 1 day ago 1 reply      
Worth noting that Gates leads by a $10 billion margin.
nodesocket 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buffett should just buy a bunch of $AMZN so he keeps on par with Bezos. Buffett is not greedy, but he is ultra competitive. I look forward to going to my first annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting this May.
timothycrosley 1 day ago 7 replies      
For all the hype Silicon Valley gets, the companies of the world's 2 richest people are in the Seattle area.
bluedino 1 day ago 4 replies      
I am failing to see how someone who founded a company that hasn't made > $1B in profit over each of the last twenty years can have a fortune of $75B
alnitak 1 day ago 4 replies      
How is Bezos making money? Amazon doesn't seem to generate enough dividends to reach this amount of wealth, or does it?
frgtpsswrdlame 1 day ago 3 replies      
So is Bezos our modern day Carnegie or Rockefeller?
webkike 1 day ago 3 replies      
Unless Putin is on this list I doubt its veracity.
cies 1 day ago 5 replies      
Any reason why the Rothchilds never show up in these lists? My best guess there is some sort of "who's the richest game" for some new money players (who's fortune can be tracked), where old money prefers obscurity.
flippyhead 1 day ago 0 replies      
Woot! Go go Seattle billionaire club!
uw777 1 day ago 0 replies      
funny thing is.. announcement to be made later
blisterpeanuts 1 day ago 2 replies      
Some fun facts: Jeff Bezos owns 80.9 million shares of AMZN (or did in September), which is about 17% of the company. Over 60% of the company is held by institutional shareholders, led by Vanguard. His annual salary is $100K. He appeared in Star Trek Beyond as a Star Fleet official. In his spare time, he runs a spaceship company.[1]

I've always admired Amazon and have been a customer of theirs since the late 90s when it was mainly a bookseller. For a while I owned a few hundred shares, but sold them for a slight profit. Had I held onto them... sigh...

Jeff Bezos is one of America's great entrepreneurs, along with Gates, Musk, Ellison, and a handful of others. This is America at its best. We could do worse than to produce such amazing and successful technology innovators.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bezos

huangc10 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Amazons founder has added $10.2 billion this year to his wealth...

It's not even April yet...

       cached 31 March 2017 15:11:01 GMT