hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    26 Apr 2017 Best
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1
What Happens When You Send a Zero-Day to a Bank? privacylog.blogspot.com
1492 points by ivank  4 days ago   438 comments top 5
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iamleppert 4 days ago 14 replies      
There needs to exist a legal entity/non-profit or company that acts as a shield and/or escrow for these kinds of situations. Basically, as a researcher you can have them deal with the company/organization for you, including dealing with any threats, collecting any bounties due, and such. The company could have domain expertise of the industry, laws, and generally be a force against these companies -- the analogy would be a lawyer.

This is for cases where you want the credit but still want the protections afforded by being somewhat anonymous. Similar to WikiLeaks but more focused on allowing the company or entity to solve their problems and representing fairness on all sides.

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alistproducer2 4 days ago 2 replies      
On a similar, but separate note, my bank launched a new version of its online banking platform. From launch I noticed it opened my accounts in a new tab while leaving my credentials (password and all) in the sign-in form. Not so bad when signing in from home - horrific if you're signing in from a public computer. I tweeted to the bank and spoke to someone on the phone about it. It's been 3 months and the bug is still there.

[EDIT]I decided to log in today just to see if it's still there (was a couple days ago), and it's finally been patched. If I had used a throwaway I would gladly let you guys know the bank, but I won't since it's trivial to find out who I am from my handle.

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Sujan 4 days ago 2 replies      
For anyone being as confused as me in the timeline bit: The author is called Will(iam) Entriken. So "Will" and "Entriken" is the same as "I" and passive voice.
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cyphar 4 days ago 2 replies      
Kudos to the author, and hopefully they don't get sued as a result. This bullshit with corporations trying to cover up security vulnerabilities (rather than fix them) needs to stop.

"Sign this NDA or we will send the FBI to arrest you because you found that our banking website's security was completely fucking broken and told us about it." Jesus fucking christ.

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lisper 4 days ago 10 replies      
The NDA is not a valid contract because there is no consideration. For a contract to be valid each party has to gain something. This is why many contracts include a token consideration of $1. This one didn't, so it's invalid.
2
Lyrebird An API to copy the voice of anyone lyrebird.ai
1341 points by adbrebs  1 day ago   292 comments top 39
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eadz 1 day ago 6 replies      
Combined with Face2Face[1] live video impersonation, it is truly time to be very careful verifying videos or even live streams.

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

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pbhjpbhj 1 day ago 5 replies      
Last week on BBC Radio 4 I heard of a woman who was losing her voice through disease (MND maybe?), a similar system was being anticipated and she was saving voice samples to seed it with.

She had been a singer and strongly identified her self with her voice, she wanted to be able to use a speech synthesis system that had her own voice pattern.

Apologies if this was already mentioned, but it seems to be a use others here hadn't considered.

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qeternity 1 day ago 11 replies      
While all of these vec2speech type models are impressive, I get the feeling that most of the comments didn't listen to any of the samples. It's still distinctly robotic sounding, probably has quite a bit of garbage output that needs to be filtered manually (as many of these nets often have) and is a far cry from fooling a human.
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paraschopra 1 day ago 2 replies      
I appreciate the ethics link up there in the menu. Not sure if I noticed it on any other AI startup (or for that matter, any startup). Given how complex the world is becoming due to ever increasing co-dependence with tech, I can see how such pages could become as important as 'pricing' or 'sign up' pages. (The privacy issues with Unroll.me, Uber and a thousand other such services will only accelerate this trend).

Good job, team Lyrebird. My feedback is that while the inclusion of ethics page is great, it could do with more content on your vision and what you will not let your tech be used for. I know others can develop similar tech, but it will be good to read about YOUR ethics.

[Edited for clarity]

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keithwhor 1 day ago 2 replies      
I love this. The business model is too good to be true.

1. Open source voice-copying software

2. At worst, create entire market of voice-fraudsters, at best, very few voice-fraudsters but very high and very real perception of fear of such

3. Become leading security experts in voice fraud detection

4. Sell software / time / services to intelligence agencies, governments, law enforcement, news networks

Ethically I'm a bit concerned with (2), but realistically the team is right --- this technology exists, it will certainly be used for good and for bad, and they're positioning themselves as the leading experts.

I'm interested to see which VCs and acquirers line up here. Applying a voice to any phrase seems useful for voice assistants (Amazon Alexa, Google Home) but I don't think that's the $B model.

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pinpeliponni 1 day ago 3 replies      
Funny thing is, this is approximately where CIA was with similar technology in closer to 2000. They did some demos for politicians about how they can given anyone's fake their messages. That stuff is golden for propaganda means, and for confusing stuff like military chains of command. Today the CIA probably has worked out all the robotic artifacts already, and their output is really indistinguishable.
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yladiz 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is pretty cool (although, I have no idea what other technologies exist for this kind of thing), but it's definitely not convincing enough to a human listener. This sounds like it might be convincing enough for some programs like "Hey, Siri" but it's not gonna convince your mom. You can listen to the samples on the page linked here and you can immediately tell that Obama and Trump don't sound quite human.
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LegendaryPatMan 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is pretty basic at the moment and it's terrifying. Yeah, it has an MS Sam feel to it, but as the tech improves and we know it will, you could use a service like this to put words in someone's mouth. Think about how you could trip up a CEO or a Politician by playing some random clip that they never said. When that gets into the Zeitgeist judgments will be made in the court of public opinion devoid of facts or real evidence. You could destroy democracy or people's lives with technology like this
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amarant 1 day ago 12 replies      
It's there any copyright protections for a person's voice? If not, David Attenborough and Morgan Freeman will be lead voice actors in my next game project
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got2surf 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is exciting! If you look at historic speeches (ie from American Rhetoric http://www.americanrhetoric.com/top100speechesall.html), there are large variations in average characteristics between various styles/contexts (on average, pitch/volume/speed are different for inspirational vs somber speeches, for example). But there are also really large differences in the variation - an inspirational speech may be marked by large swings from quiet, reflective pieces to booming, rousing calls-to-action while a somber speech has fewer swings in delivery.

For the examples given for various intonations from Obama/Trump, some intonations are much more natural than others. It would be interesting to decide how to parametrize a sentence for the intended intonation. (based on word2vec analysis of the words in the sentence, punctuation cues in the sentence, and perhaps a specified category of "emotional delivery").

It would be interesting at the sentence-level, but also at the macro speech-level to include the right "mix" of intonations for a specific context. On a related note, it would be interesting to study the patterns of intonations in successful vs unsuccessful outbound sales calls, for example, to learn how to best simulate a good human sales voice.

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eps 1 day ago 8 replies      
Impressive.

But also enabling the next gen of "Mom, I'm in Mexican jail. Quickly wire me $2,000 so I can get out." scams.

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joshmarlow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Finally, I can have Morgan Freeman narrate my major life events.

Update:Reading changelogs before deployment never sounded better!

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celticninja 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is this enough to beat voice recognition software?

If you thought fake news was bad before wait until these 'secret' recordings start getting released and reported on.

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sna1l 1 day ago 0 replies      
Charles Schwab uses a voice phrase to authenticate you for access to your account, which is already pretty brittle, but I hope this makes them reconsider more urgently.
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cjlars 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was wondering when CG Sir David Attenborough would get here and start narrating my day to day.
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ksec 1 day ago 3 replies      
1. Is this company new?

2. Is this better then what Google or Baidu are doing?

3. I remember reading Adobe has something similar.

4. Why ( What happened ) that all of a sudden we have 4 company making voice breakthrough tech like these?

5. What Happen to Voice Acting? Places like Japan where they highly value voice actor. Is Voice even patentable?

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drusepth 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. As someone exploring the fictional storytelling space, this seems like it'd have a lot of fun applications in that space as well.

How difficult is it to create/tune voices from parameters rather than training from an audio clip? I build software where people create fictional characters for writing, and having an author "create" voices for each character would be an amazing way to autogenerate audiobooks with their voices, or interact with those characters by voice, or just hear things written from their point of view in their voice for that extra immersion. Having an author upload voice clips of themselves mimicking what they think that character should sound like, but probably would keep traces of their original voice (and feel "fake" to them because they can recognize their own voice), no?

Can't wait to see how this pans out. Signed up for the beta and will definitely be pushing it to its limits when it's ready. :)

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echelon 1 day ago 1 reply      
It sounds like they're training a parametric speech synthesis platform on samples in order to learn the parameters. I wonder if there are are approaches at generating n-phones for concatenative models, or using a hybrid approach.

I built a toy concatenative Donald Trump speech system [1], but I don't have an ML background. I've been taking Andrew Ng's online course in addition to Udacity's deep learning program in an attempt to learn the basics. I'm hoping I can use my dataset to build something backed by ML that sounds better.

Is anyone in the Atlanta area interested in ML? I'd love to chat over coffee or join local ML interest groups.

[1] http://jungle.horse

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carlob 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how dependent this is on language: can we make Trump speak Chinese using a one minute audio track of him speaking English?
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Tloewald 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is very exciting to me because it lets RPGs provide spoken dialog for everything (I'm waiting to see if they can do emotions at all convincingly). Even big budget games suffer from "you can call your character anything as long as it's 'Shepherd'" simply because you can't mention the character's name or any other use-content safely.
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retox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Through the tinny speaker of my mobile phone the Obama in the first sample is almost spot on. Some speed issues with Trump but really impressive.
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olleromam91 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So all my voice commands can be recorded and my voice can be replicated. Cool...i guess
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joeblau 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how accurately this would reproduce dead musicians voices. I've had this idea for about 8 years called the Notorious BIG project. I have about 20 acapellas that I was originally going to manually chop into a song. Neural Nets can pretty much solve this now.
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jtbayly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can we get these speeches in audio form now?

https://medium.com/@samim/obama-rnn-machine-generated-politi...

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Ensorceled 1 day ago 1 reply      
The samples all sound a little like Rich Little and Stephen Hawking's love child doing impressions: they won't fool very many people.

But, you can certainly see where this is going and that's the worrisome part.

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kristaps 1 day ago 1 reply      
As noted in other comments, all the samples still sound very robotic, so this is probably "just" a method to tune the parameters of an existing voice synthesizer to mimic a real persons voice as much as it allows.
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anigbrowl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Excellent work. This will find widespread application in the film/tv/music industry and beyond (and we're not that far away from being able to do the same thing for video). Unfortunately it will also be widely abused, but given the near-inevitability of such technological development I'm already reconciled to that :-/
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jpsim 1 day ago 2 replies      
Curious choice to name a company & product with a name that sounds like "Liar Bird" when spoken. To me, that looks like they're fully embracing the concept that this can be used for nefarious purposes. If one of their goals is to bring attention that this technology exists and can be misused, the name reinforces that.
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return0 1 day ago 1 reply      
We need a new markup language for intonation and emotion.
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felipemesquita 1 day ago 2 replies      
This site has a "demo" section featuring only Soundcloud clips. Uses to much the present tense "In a world first, Montreal-based startup Lyrebird today unveiled" and "Record 1 minute [...] and Lyrebird can [..]Use this key to generate anything" but has no actual product or beta version. Adobe had a much more impressive sneak peek of a similar product called VoCo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3l4XLZ59iw
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LordKano 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is impressive. There is now a way for Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones to be able to narrate movies forever.
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backpropaganda 1 day ago 0 replies      
Relevant discussion from 17 hours ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14177589
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scibolt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Voice Actors out of business! :D
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ChairmanPao 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now people can deny saying things caught on tape. Just show this technology to a jury considering taped evidence, and bring in some experts to testify on how it works.

The samples weren't that convincing to me, but could probably be used to switch a word here and there. That may be enough.

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bisRepetita 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Buy the rights for "Car Talk" re-broadcast.2. Record new, current ads using Click and Clack's voices.3. If the voices sound a little too "mechanic", pretend it's a joke.
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sehugg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds great, I was trying something like this in Keras but didn't get very far: https://github.com/sehugg/kerasspeechcodec
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mzzter 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Trump 6 speaking "... my intonation is always different" sounds very convincingly human.
3
Calculus Made Easy (1914) [pdf] djm.cc
1074 points by Pamar  5 days ago   187 comments top 51
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theCricketer 4 days ago 8 replies      
MIT recorded a set of Calculus video courses back in 1970s that they have since made publicly available. It is taught by a lecturer named Herbert Gross. His style of lecturing is clear, he states why things are defined the way they are and derives everything from first principles. There is an unusual mix of rigor and focus on building understanding - where everything comes from. It also taught me that math is about reasoning logically and rigorously and we shouldn't always rely on intuition (at least while doing math). Deriving almost all the basic calculus results that were drilled into me from the basic concept of a limit, deltas and epsilons was really refreshing.

Compared to more recent OCW calculus videos, I found this to be better in terms of respecting the learner's intellect, presenting the whole proof rigorously and teaching the student to think a certain way.

Calculus Revisited: Single Variable Calculus | MIT OpenCourseWare - https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-006-calculus-revisited-...

Complex Variables, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra - https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-008-calculus-revisited-...

Calculus Revisited: Multivariable Calculus | MIT OpenCourseWare - https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-007-calculus-revisited-...

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tzs 5 days ago 8 replies      
That PDF is just a bunch of scanned images of the book. It's large and cumbersome in many readers.

There is a much better PDF at Project Gutenberg [1].

The Gutenberg PDF is only 1.9 MB, compared to 12 MB for the scanned image PDF.

The Gutenberg page for this book [2] also has a link to the LaTeX source for the PDF.

[1] http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33283/33283-pdf.pdf

[2] http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33283

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djhworld 4 days ago 14 replies      
I'm embarassed somewhat to say this, but over the past few weeks I've been taking the courses on Khan Academy on mathematics. I'm nearly 30.

and I'm not talking about brushing up on my linear algebra, that comes later, I'm talking high school level mathematics, stuff that I've largely forgotten or didn't "get" first time round.

I've seen these "machine learning for hackers!" articles who try to dish out a bit of maths saying that's all you need, but I don't think you can escape the fact that sometimes you just need to start from the beginning and work your way up

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kjhughes 5 days ago 4 replies      
Summer of 1980, going into my senior year in high school, I mentioned I'd be taking Calculus next year to a co-worker a couple years older than I. He said he had the best book in the world on Calculus, and he loaned me his copy of Silvanus P Thompson's Calculus made easy. I thoroughly enjoyed that book, benefited from its intuitive explanations, and forever appreciated his recommendation.

If I may similarly influence anyone here, for themselves or someone they know, to read Calculus made easy to supplement their calculus coursework, I will be happy to have paid the favor forward in some small way.

By the way, Kalid Azad may be our modern day Silvanus P Thompson. And he has better tools[1], which he wields masterfully, than just pen and paper. Recommended too.

[1] https://betterexplained.com/

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noam87 5 days ago 2 replies      
In a similar vein: "Probability Through Problems": https://archive.org/details/springer_10.1007-978-0-387-21659...

I love this book. What's the best way to learn a mathematical field? To discover it yourself, piece by piece!

I wish this were a series.

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mixedmath 5 days ago 0 replies      
For what it's worth, this is available as a much leaner pdf [1] on Project Gutenberg now, including the TeX source that some kind person used to update it.

[1]: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33283

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allsunny 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have an embarrassing amount of Calculus books. My dad taught the subject in a high school and community college; I suppose I have a soft spot for it. "Calculus Made Easy" is a good book though I do think there are better ones these days. Some of the lexicon has changed and there are topics covered in a modern Calculus textbook that aren't covered in the original book (that I personally think are worthwhile spending time on). The updated version with Martin Gardner does have blurbs where necessary to point it out. The Kline book is a MUCH larger read, but is what I would recommend if you want a reasonably priced Calculus book that's easy to grok. Otherwise, I think it's hard to go wrong w/ the Stewart books. Work through the problems as they do in the book, you will come away w/ what you need. Finally, if you want a whirlwind tour, Calculus for Dummies by Mark Ryan is great.

Time spent learning Calculus is worthwhile; and if nothing else, understand the fundamental theorem. Overwhelmingly impressive.

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OJFord 5 days ago 4 replies      
Heavens - I'd have never guessed titles like '~ Made Easy' were as old as that.

I don't know why exactly, it just sounds modern.

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thechao 5 days ago 0 replies      
I learned calculus from this book, as did my dad, and my grandfather. My daughters will learn from this book.
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ashark 4 days ago 0 replies      
Good lord. I somehow took (and passed!) a year of high school calculus plus a semester in college, and I never had a good sense for the word "Integral" in a math context as anything but arbitrary jargon. And I've spent a not-tiny amount of time with BetterExplained's calculus. 30 seconds with this book and it's obvious. Now I'm making connections with the French (of which I have barely any, but any port in a storm) and it's solid in my mind.

Well. Now I have to read the whole thing I guess.

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baldfat 4 days ago 1 reply      
The prologue is 100% dead on and what I have always thought in terms of the easy part of calculus needs to be taught early. I would have never been able to vocalize what he said in the short half page of text.

We teach math backwards. We have a population that can barely do 4th grade arithmetic and it is socially okay.

Children and people believe that decimal points are accurate and that fractions are abstract when the exact opposite is true. 1/3 of a pizza is real and 0.333333 is a fake number.

We also teach movement and change as a word problem i.e. a train leaves Chicago at 25 MPH and another train leaves Flint, MI at 35 MPH when will the trains meet? That answer is an estimation of an unattainable constancy but people believe it is logical conclusion.

Pre-Calculus (needs to be repackaged with the idea of the one consistent in our world is change) should be taught before Algebra and Geometry. Make math into something where people can truly understand abstract and concrete. People actually think calculus is a hyper abstract algebra when in fact it is putting math into real world solutions.

The number one problem is calculus is 100% dependent on the teacher. A great teacher will make this work and a lower skilled teacher can absolutely kill almost all learning.

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jstewartmobile 5 days ago 1 reply      
It's crazy the kids have to pay hundreds of dollars for the horrible books the colleges require when brilliant things like this can be had for free...
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impendia 5 days ago 0 replies      
I assigned this in an Honors Calc II class I taught at a state university.

The main text was Stewart (decided at the department level), but I was teaching the Honors section which provided a good opportunity for me to ask for something extra. I had my students read this book alongside Stewart, and write weekly short essays comparing the two approaches. Many of the students turned in some quite good writing.

This is an outstanding book.

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apo 4 days ago 0 replies      
After scanning for a few minutes, I was amazed at how readable the book is given its age and my experience with books of similar age.

The book also does appear to go out of its way to keep language simple. For example:

We call the ratio dx/dy "the differential coefficient of y with respect to x." It is a solemn scientific name for this very simple thing. But we are not going to be frightened by solemn names, when the things themselves are so easy. Instead of being frieghtened we will simply pronounce a brief curse on the stupidity of giving long crack-jaw names; and, having relieved our minds, will go on to the simple thing itself, namely the ration dx/dy.

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transitorykris 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is an incredible book. I'm a visual thinker, and while this book lacks all the glossy pages of illustration found in a modern Calculus textbook, the writing style helps develop that visual intuition. In the same vein of concise Calculus books, Serge Lang's Short Calculus is also great (if you need a refresher, or if you're just starting out).

https://www.amazon.com/Short-Calculus-Original-Undergraduate...

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mdturnerphys 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just about missed the attribution in the epigraph:

What one fool can do, another can. -Ancient Simian Proverb

Monkey see, monkey do?

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emarthinsen 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is, actually, a really good book. Don't let the cheesy title throw you off. I learned more in the first few chapters than I did after a semester of calc classes. Highly recommended.
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vixen99 4 days ago 0 replies      
Reading it as a kid I wasn't sure I trusted the author - Silvanus P. Thompson FRS ('FRS' - which I knew to be something rather prestigious) when he wrote in the prologue "Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I've had to unteach myself the difficulties . . . What one fool can do, another can."
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mcguire 5 days ago 1 reply      
Since no one else has mentioned it, there is an updated edition available in print, with updates by Martin Gardener.
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jaclaz 2 days ago 0 replies      
In Italy there is a "similar" (in the sense that it manages to explain calculus in a friendly and easy manner) book, that has been re-edited and re-published since - I believe - 1929 or so:

https://books.google.it/books?id=oHPmx_v1H6QC&pg=PP5&hl=it&s...

the original is French, the Author Gustave Bessiere was an engineer, mathematician and inventor:

https://books.google.it/books/about/Le_calcul_intgral_facil...

I don't think they are (yet) copyright free, though.

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throwaway2016a 4 days ago 0 replies      
The prologue had me hooked... I have never read anything like this in a text book. The self-deprecating humor immediately disarms you if you're the type that would go into something like this intimidated. I am definitely reading this.
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sideproject 5 days ago 1 reply      
Why didn't any one tell me about this book when I was younger! This is so good. :)
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payne92 5 days ago 0 replies      
Oh wow. Imagine typesetting that in hot metal, many many decades before TeX and LaTeX!!
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InclinedPlane 4 days ago 0 replies      
I love calculus, it's such an amazing collection of fascinating, elegant (and useful!) concepts that give you a transformative insight on mathematics in general. It's very frustrating to see it taught so poorly so often though.

One problem that teaching calculus has is that it's very dependent on having a solid foundation in other mathematics such as advanced algebra, trig, etc. In today's school systems that encourage gaming the system as students and teaching to the test as educators it's rare for most students to actually understand or be competent with material they've allegedly studied. When they hit something that starts off where they left off and builds upwards, if they have any weaknesses in that foundation it will show immediately and slow them down immensely.

Add on to that all the other problems of typical calculus instruction such as a desire to make it hard as a matter of protecting calculus education as a status symbol for "smart" people, the ability to ratchet up the difficulty arbitrarily through requiring memorization of a potentially infinite set of "trivia" (every trig. identity, every method of differentiation/integration, and so on), while generally not concentrating on the abstract concepts or the fundamentals.

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SilentM68 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've been looking for something similar to this but for Algebra, Trig, etc. before relearning Calculus and came across this: Mathematics For The Pracicle Man by Howe (1918?) http://www.aproged.pt/biblioteca/mathematicsforthehowe.pdf It's targeted to Engineering students and it's not lengthy, won't take me two years to learn. Hopefully it'll be of same quality as Thompson's book?
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donquichotte 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's funny that a book from 1914 is formatted in a way that it is much easier to read on my mobile phone than pretty much anything I can download from google books.
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officialchicken 5 days ago 0 replies      
There is a 1998 update to the book with "modernized" english (I think it is clearer while preserving a dated style) and some additional chapters. ISBN-10: 0312185480
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c517402 4 days ago 2 replies      
IIRC this the book Richard Feynman said he checked out of the library and learned calculus from. Also, Feynman made comments similar to those in the Prologue.
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hilldex 4 days ago 0 replies      
I love how the first page (Ch. 1) tries to show that 'terrifying' calculus symbols have very simple meanings, and so there's no reason to run away.

Less pleased, though not at _all_ surprised, that the book addresses 'fifth form boys', with no mention of girls.

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agumonkey 4 days ago 0 replies      
This popped on my twitter yesterday, that single page was more effective than 10 years of sweating. Speechless.
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boyhowdy 4 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who dropped out of Cal II, the first few paragraphs of this book gave me more understanding than I ever had in college... Either I was very lazy, or my teachers couldn't express these simple ideas clearly, or both.
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neuronexmachina 4 days ago 0 replies      
Fun fact: The author Silvanus Thompson was an early pioneer of what is now known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. You can see him posing with his head in a device for testing neurophysiological effects of alternating magnetic fields in figure 4 of this paper: http://rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/61/1/5.figure...
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georgewsinger 5 days ago 1 reply      
I believe this was Feynman's favorite book on calculus.
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martijn_himself 4 days ago 0 replies      
This looks like a brilliant resource.

My problem with advanced math is not so much the understanding of principles but the application of these to solve new problems creatively.

I was able to master partial differential equations and pass exams but was never able to apply what was learned to solve new problems which I found very frustrating and was what ultimately led me to not pursue a career in the field.

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gejjaxxita 5 days ago 0 replies      
I read this book when I was 14, it belonged to my grandfather. I'd completely forgotten about it but seeing it has really brought back memories.
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Safety1stClyde 5 days ago 1 reply      
It's like "Calculus for dummies" except with pounds, shillings and pence, and Mrs. Ayrton's electrical arcs.
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Simorgh 3 days ago 0 replies      
This book is staggering. I'm on page 1. I've read a couple of dozen lines. This has explained more about calculus then a decade and a half of seeing related concepts.
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danm07 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wish my prof in college gave this as a course reading.
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sebastianconcpt 3 days ago 0 replies      
First chapter alone is a jewel.This is how great teachers sound like!
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ankurdhama 4 days ago 3 replies      
In my experience, everything is easy if you DON'T try to learn it using analogies and metaphors.
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mrcactu5 3 days ago 0 replies      
i know this is supposed to be a beginner textbook, but his discussion of infinitesimal geometry uses an awful amount of Scheme Theory to justify.
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fad92 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a recommendation in the similar vein for probability and statistics?
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emmelaich 4 days ago 0 replies      
That's a great prologue. A foreshadowing of the for Dummies/Idiots books.
45
nvarsj 4 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this - I had not heard of this book, and it looks remarkable!
46
xchip 4 days ago 0 replies      
Disappointing, I thought this was about making renal calculus...

(joke)

47
ensiferum 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great book! I have a hard copy, really recommended!
48
austenallred 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have nothing to say other than that I adore this book
49
mrcactu5 3 days ago 0 replies      
these figures are so exquisite and the typography lazily guides me through
50
EGreg 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is a good book. But on page 5 you have an error: it should say trillionth instead of billionth. I find myself liking your approach, though. You should change the font and insert some more diagrams.

Oh, what's that... you can't just republish instantly because electronic computers haven't been invented yet? Well, just iterate and do things that don't scale :)

51
iamiam 4 days ago 0 replies      
So many of these old textbooks are much clearer than ones of today. And they're no-nonsense, "What one fool can learn, another can learn."
4
How SSH got port number 22 ssh.com
1028 points by Walkman  2 days ago   203 comments top 24
1
rwmj 2 days ago 4 replies      
A more interesting story is why are the older services using mainly odd port numbers (ie. 21 = FTP, 23 = telnet, why was port 22 free at that time?). It turns out because the protocol which preceded the invention of TCP, called NCP, used even-odd pairs of port numbers, with even for "outgoing" data and odd for "incoming". So the well-known port numbers for incoming services were all odd.

Sources:

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

http://www.pcvr.nl/tcpip/introduc.htm

2
mjn 2 days ago 2 replies      
Minor side bit here,

> The number should preferably be in the range 1-255 so thatit can be used in the WKS field in name servers.

Well-known service (WKS) records let hosts advertise in DNS which services a given machine made available, by listing which of the assigned port numbers were open for TCP or UDP connections. This never really caught on, as few people used them, even fewer kept them up to date, and checking WKS provided very little real benefit over just attempting a connection.

They had been deprecated already in 1989 through RFC 1123 [1], but it seems that by the mid-1990s at least some people still considered them relevant.

[1] "An application SHOULD NOT rely on the ability to locate a WKS record containing an accurate listing of all services at a particular host address, since the WKS RR type is not often used by Internet sites. To confirm that a service is present, simply attempt to use it." https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1123.txt

3
pbhjpbhj 2 days ago 7 replies      
It's not a terribly interesting story IMO.

The author (Tatu Ylonen) sent an email to Joyce K. Reynolds at IANA, on release of v.1.0 of SSH protocol, and IANA agreed to assign port 22.

That's kinda it.

A summary of SSH use follows the story which is a good overview for someone new to it.

4
iagooar 2 days ago 11 replies      
I wonder if there will be a new invention like the Internet during my lifetime, where I can actually participate in shaping and defining it.

While I grew up with computers, when Internet got to the first homes like mine, I was still too young and had only very limited programming skills to contribute to it.

Love these stories about how simple and straight-forward it was to have a huge impact. I guess there is some nostalgia involved, but these were, in my opinion, better times.

5
teddyh 2 days ago 3 replies      
> Anyway, I designed SSH to replace both telnet (port 23) and ftp (port 21).

That sounds weird. Did SSH originally have file-copying capabilities? As I recall, the ssh command was written to be command-line compatible with rsh, not telnet, since rsh (and its companion rlogin) was what people were using at the time to log in over the network between local systems. The manual page for SSH still states this explicitly: It is intended to replace rlogin and rsh [], and SSH from the start had (and still has) an rlogin replacement, "slogin". (Telnet was at the time only used for accessing remote, i.e. not-on-site, services, which did not necessarily imply shell access.) Anyway, the rsh and rlogin protocols use port 513 and 514, but no nearby ports seems to be unallocated. The story seems to be missing some details, or possibly be made up after the fact in lieu of a bad memory.

It seemed reasonable to me at the time to give port 22 to a better replacement for, and a spiritual successor to, Telnet, but the story seems odd for not mentioning rsh or rlogin at all.

6
exabrial 2 days ago 2 replies      
Port numbers as service locators is driving us to ipv4 exhaustion. We have 65535 port numbers available on each ipv4 address we could use to run a web server, but we only use 2 (443,80). That's 48bits of addressing information, which is a metric crap ton.

I have a separate theory as to why ipv6 is being pushed so hard by advertising companies like Facebook, Google, and the US Government (CIA, NSA): it makes it very easy to casually track the number of hosts behind firewalls. While not impossible with ipv4 at the layer4 level using fingerprinting techniques, it's quite difficult to do at scale, is unreliable, and spoofable. Ipv6 makes this trivial for anyone, and will allow ip transit providers to scrape more information about users, even those encrypting layer5+ traffic.

7
gejjaxxita 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am aged thirty and every day I use a technology that didn't exist when I was eight, furthermore this technology "feels" ancient to me.

It's a bit cliche but the pace of innovation in our field (at least up to now), and the rate at which we get used to new things, is amazing.

8
arielm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another important thing - when you want something you should ask for it. So many times I didn't ask because I _thought_ it wouldn't happen...
9
defined 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe it's a subtle plug for CryptoAuditor and Universal Key Manager, products the author's company offers?

> CryptoAuditor is a product that can control tunneling at a firewall or at the entry point to a group of cloud servers. It works together with Universal SSH Key Manager to gain access to host keys and is able to use them to decrypt the SSH sessions at a firewall and block unauthorized forwarding.

10
lindner 2 days ago 2 replies      
For the record Gopher used port 150 for some time until we got a warning from Joyce that we had to change it.

Registering MIME types was also easy:

https://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/application/msw...

11
arca_vorago 2 days ago 7 replies      
You should not be afraid to change the port number either. As a sysadmin, I have heard all the tales of no security through obscurity, which honestly I don't think is nearly as steadfast a law as people pretend, but thats another discussion. Changing ports isn't about security, it's about log fatique. Less hits on different ports, less things to stop and investigate.

Even better, port knocking on non-standard port.

12
chiph 2 days ago 1 reply      
Different era, when you could accomplish wide-ranging changes just by sending an email. These days a committee would have to be appointed.
13
franciscop 2 days ago 1 reply      
In my experience, if you ask nicely and have good intentions you can achieve A LOT of things that you might not expect at all.
14
jgrahamc 2 days ago 2 replies      
A bigger question would be how did FTP get 21 and Telnet 23 leaving a gap for SSH?
15
emmelaich 1 day ago 0 replies      
In a way it's pity it was so easy.

/etc/services is now testament to a multitude of broken dreams.

16
nathan_f77 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, I had no idea that SSH had become such a huge security company [1], with 6 locations around the world. Another surprising thing is that it was only created in 1995. I was expecting it to be a few decades older.

[1] https://www.ssh.com/

17
tmsldd 1 day ago 1 reply      
If a Nobel prize equivalent existed for software developers to recognize their immense contribution to the field, Tatu Ylonen would deserve it for sure. It's great to know stories like this one.
18
swalsh 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would have thought the reason it was chosen is that he assumed people had a firewall exception for the range of ports between 21 and 23, and by choosing 22 nothing had to be changed on the firewall.
19
nepotism2016 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was hoping for some epic Lord of the Rings story, disappointed...but SSH makes up for it :)
20
hwestiii 1 day ago 0 replies      
tl;dr- I asked for it.- They gave it to me.
21
killin_dan 1 day ago 0 replies      
So there's actually not a story?

I read the email and the dude just gives them that port assignment with no ceremony. I was hoping it would be more climactic.

HN doesn't really seem concerned that all these titles are low-quality bait. Guess they're digging those page req numbers. Unfortunate how effective it is to just deceive your users.

22
paxcoder 2 days ago 2 replies      
You shouldn't be. We have links for this. This is plagiarism.
23
ohlookabird 2 days ago 3 replies      
Off topic, but maybe someone has an explanation to one thing that I wondered quite a few times on mailing lists and that I got reminded of by the E-mail Tatu Ylonen sent to Joyce K. Reynolds: Why is it that some people start their E-mail with "Dear Sir"? From where comes the (to me unreasonable) expectation that there is a single male person on the other end (instead of a mixed group)? Are there stereo-types at play or is this a language/translation thing?
24
odbol_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
5
Google plans ad-blocking feature in Chrome browser wsj.com
824 points by kristianc  6 days ago   486 comments top 2
1
heavymark 6 days ago 27 replies      
At first it sounds insane that Google would do such a thing since while ad blocking is growing, enabling the feature natively especially by default would incredibly increase the number of ads blocked.

My guess is, that where other blockers by default can easily block all google ads, Chrome blocker would not block Google Ads because it would classify them as acceptable. And Google would then hope that people would use their built in blocker rather than downloading a third party extension which would highly likely block there ads. And if people have a built in blocker that blocks the mostly bad ads, the people would start to hate ads less and be okay with 'good ads'. Also since people wouldn't use third party blockers as much those companies would go out business more likely.

It's a very risky move on Google's part, so would be a bit surprised if it happens. But doing nothing, is equally if not more risky in the long run for there business model.

2
aesthetics1 6 days ago 13 replies      
"In one possible application Google is considering, it may choose to block all advertising that appears on sites with offending ads, instead of the individual offending ads themselves. In other words, site owners may be required to ensure all of their ads meet the standards, or could see all advertising across their sites blocked in Chrome."

I like this approach. It punishes site owners for running malicious or badly-behaved ads. I think this is a step forward. I hate blocking ads across the board - I just want to stop the intrusive and dangerous variety. I can tolerate the rest.

6
For First Time Since 1800s, Britain Goes a Day Without Burning Coal for Power nytimes.com
557 points by af16090  4 days ago   205 comments top 14
1
pash 3 days ago 3 replies      
This is an astoundingly vapid article. If you want to understand why and how the UK has so quickly reduced the amount of coal it burns, Carbon Brief has a much more informative overview [0].

The basic explanation of what happened is simple: the UK instituted a carbon tax that made coal more expensive than natural gas per unit of electricity produced, so British utilities shut down their coal plants and replaced them with gas plants as quickly as possible.

The backstory is somewhat more complicated, and much more interesting. The British tax was implemented in 2013 as a local fix to a broken EU carbon-trading program; that program, called the Emissions Trading Scheme [1], allocated to electrical utilities in the EU the right to produce a fixed amount of carbon emissions (and carbon-equivalent emissions), and the rights were made transferablea typical cap-and-trade set-up. And then the basic problem with that typical set-up occurred: the fixed supply of rights to produce emissions proved higher than the EU's electrical sector's total demand, a consequence mostly of lower than expected demand for electricity during the recession that followed the financial crisis of a decade ago, but also partly due to other clean-energy initiatives and to big changes in world energy markets. And so the price of emissions rights collapsed.

That wasn't really a problemno more carbon was being pumped into the air than the ETS allowedbut it made plain the fact that the ETS was doing nothing at all to reduce emissions. So British lawmakers decided to implement their own carbon tax, called the Carbon Price Floor [2], in order to reduce emissions and support the development of clean energy. The tax rate Parliament set was one of the highest in the world, and as it turned out it was just high enough to make coal slightly more expensive than natural gas for generating electricity, an outcome entirely unforeseen when the policy was decided, just as global production of natural gas was beginning to boom and its price to plummet.

So in the end, a bunch of poorly designed policies and their unforeseen consequences led to a better than expected outcome: Britain has been weened off coal decades earlier than was thought possible.

0. http://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-cuts-carbon-record-co...

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trad...

2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/carbon-price-floo...

2
pierrec 3 days ago 4 replies      
Having an interest in ethnomusicology, my favorite testimony of Britain's tumultuous dropping of coal is the song Coal Not Dole. It's originally a poem written by the wife of a laid-off coal miner. Dropping coal may be considered inevitable in retrospect - but it's interesting to see the perspective of people caught up in these changes, whose lives were disrupted and sometimes ruined in the process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk2hGp6HCn8

 It stands so proud, the wheel so still A ghost-like figure on the hill It seems so strange, there is no sound Now there are no men underground What will become of this pit-yard Where men once trampled, faces hard? Tired and weary, their work done Never having seen the sun Will it become a sacred ground? Foreign tourists gazing round Asking if men once worked here Way beneath this pit-head gear Empty trucks once filled with coal Lined up like men on the dole Will they e're be used again Or left for scrap just like the men? There'll always be a happy hour For those with money, jobs and power They'll never realise the hurt They cause to men they treat like dirt

3
stygiansonic 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ontario has been coal-free for a few years:http://www.ieso.ca/power-data/supply-overview/transmission-c...

There are many confounding factors (recession in 2008-2009) but generally, the number of days with smog advisories has been on the decline in Ontario as well:http://airqualityontario.com/history/aqi_advisories_stats.ph...

Note that in general, across North America (not sure about the world at large) electricity consumption per capita has also been on the decline, to the extent that overall/absolute electricity consumption is down in large areas like Ontario[1]. I haven't done any research, but I surmise this is due to factors like more energy-efficient devices and time-of-day usage being pushed onto the retail user. (In additional to the aforementioned recession causing loss of manufacturing/factories)

1. http://www.ieso.ca/power-data/demand-overview/historical-dem...

4
delsarto 3 days ago 11 replies      
What's the deal with natural gas? It doesn't seem "renewable"; isn't it extracted just like petrol? Is it just that it burns cleaner? Doesn't burning it still produce carbon dioxide?
5
beejiu 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you ever get the opportunity to visit a power station, you should definitely do so. I visited the coal-fired station in Tilbury when it was running and I was amazed at the sheer scale of the operation. The tour showed how the coal was processed, the water processing plant, the turbine hall, the control room and you could even stand at the bottom of an offline furnace and feel the incredible heat from the other furnace (connected by a tunnel).
6
0xcde4c3db 4 days ago 1 reply      
Did this emerge from routine operations, or was there a directed effort to have a "coal-free day"? The article didn't seem to clearly say either way.
7
sid-kap 3 days ago 2 replies      
> Last year, the share of coal in total power generation dropped to 9 percent, down from 23 percent in 2015 and 40 percent in 2012.

How have they done this so quickly?

8
Animats 3 days ago 1 reply      
Some plants have been converted partially to burn biomass, such as wood pellets. Worse than coal for pollution.
9
m-i-l 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they have data going back to the 1800s to actually back this up. In the 1970s, for example, the country faced day-long blackouts[0] due to industrial action by coal miners (I think limited electricity was still generated for hospitals etc. using existing coal stocks, but there were other sources of energy at the time such as nuclear power plants).

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Day_Week

10
corradio 3 days ago 0 replies      
Live view, including other countries: http://www.electricitymap.org
11
johansch 4 days ago 2 replies      
Next up Germany and Poland, please.

http://www.coalmap.eu/#/climate-problem

12
corndoge 4 days ago 4 replies      
13
Hnrobert42 3 days ago 1 reply      
14
pcjedi 3 days ago 1 reply      
Earth doesn't care where its coal gets burned https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_in_China
7
Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting solution to plastic pollution phys.org
578 points by fh973  1 day ago   302 comments top 10
1
sosuke 1 day ago 3 replies      
"To confirm it wasn't just the chewing mechanism of the caterpillars degrading the plastic, the team mashed up some of the worms and smeared them on polyethylene bags, with similar results."

A disturbing but effective way to test the hypothesis.

2
Clanan 1 day ago 5 replies      
"A chance discovery occurred when one of the scientific team, Federica Bertocchini, an amateur beekeeper, was removing the parasitic pests from the honeycombs in her hives. The worms were temporarily kept in a typical plastic shopping bag that became riddled with holes."

What a great accident.

3
fenwick67 1 day ago 3 replies      
I am skeptical that any sort of bacteria/insect based plastic decomposition project will address the problems with plastic waste.

The biggest problem with plastic is not with the products that make it into the landfill, where bacteria could be used. The problem is with what happens when they don't make it into a landfill, and they end up as basically permanent pollutants in the water.

4
rmason 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's already a much better solution to deal with plastic pollution, a naturally degradable material made from corn.

We heavily subsidize both wind power and solar. We even still subsidize gasohol even though it doesn't produce the environmental benefits we first thought that it did.

But we don't subsidize degradable plastic made from corn which isn't used widely because it costs a few cents more than plastic made from oil. That has never made any sense to me.

5
ars 1 day ago 3 replies      
It makes sense that eventually things would eat plastic.

Lignin (wood) and cellulose are pretty tough to break down, but there are things that eat them.

Plastic fundamentally (chemically) is made of the same stuff as wood, just in a different arrangement of atoms, and releases energy when decomposed. So it seems quite reasonable that there would be things that can eat it.

I think the plastic pollution we are seeing right now is a temporary thing - soon enough there will a large enough population of plastic eaters that it will no longer be a problem.

(We should avoid plastics that have chlorine in them though, except where needed. PVC is the most common example of a plastic like this.)

6
philipkglass 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is scientifically very interesting but pretty much orthogonal to solving problems with plastic pollution.

The worms can't live in landfills. If you could separate the plastic before landfilling to feed it to worms, then you could just burn whatever separated plastic can't be recycled. (Yes, that releases CO2, but so does having worms and bacteria eat the plastic.) The problem with plastic as waste isn't that it is super-toxic or impossible to destroy. The problem is that it's mixed in with a lot of other kinds of waste. We don't need new ways to destroy polyethylene. We need ways to separate it from mingled waste streams or prevent mingling in the first place.

7
pc2g4d 1 day ago 1 reply      
One day, landfills are vibrant ecosystems that completely break down whatever is placed inside them. As a compost pile today is to plant waste, a landfill one day could be to plastic, glass, metal, styrofoam, etc. We just need to save the planet long enough that evolution can run its course and some lifeforms start taking advantage of all the energy locked inside our "waste".
8
ajarmst 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh, yeah, I know how this ends. A year from now, when we're chest-deep in caterpillars, you're going to offer to sell us some caterpillar-eating birds...
9
nnutter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Three orders of magnitude greater than previously known plastic eating bacteria.
10
TeMPOraL 1 day ago 8 replies      
Would be good to have plastic waste broken down, but be careful not to take down our whole civilization with it. Almost everything today is made out of plastic...
8
Robert M. Pirsig has died npr.org
623 points by molecule  1 day ago   254 comments top 58
1
cypherpunks01 1 day ago 7 replies      
"Normally screws are so cheap and small and simple you think of them as unimportant. But now, as your Quality awareness becomes stronger, you realize that this one, individual, particular screw is neither cheap nor small nor unimportant. Right now this screw is worth exactly the selling price of the whole motorcycle, because the motorcycle is actually valueless until you get the screw out. With this reevaluation of the screw comes a willingness to expand your knowledge of it."
2
a_d 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I spent a long summer in 1998 researching the life of Mr Pirsig. Here is some little known trivia - some of the years when he disappeared, were spent in Banaras Hindu University (Varanasi, India) with Prof Mukherjee (head of the philosophy department) learning about Indian (Hindu) philosophy. I met Prof MUkherjee, who was retired by the time I went looking for him. I tracked him down and asked him if he remembered Mr Robert Pirsig (I took a picture that I had printed from the internet). He told me about a curious "American fellow" who used to "audit" the classes in the philosophy department, hang around the library and the canteen - and would seek him out to have discussions with him. He said that he was very quiet and nice guy.

Interestingly, Prof Mukherjee had no idea that Mr Pirsig has written this cult book or that he was a famous author/philosopher. To him, he was just an odd student (because of his age).

I wrote about this in our campus newspaper - but no one cared. I thought that I was the only fan of Mr Pirsig in this small town in India. Once I found the internet I discovered that I wasn't alone. It was a great feeling.

Anyway, i was very proud that he went to the same university that i went to. It was exciting to learn that in 1998! Also, while i didn't fully get the philosophy-the father and son journey in Zen really meant a lot to me while growing up.

Edit: by the way, Prof Mukherjee is mentioned in his book "Lila", and that is how I found him.

Edit2: "Lila", the name of Mr Pirsig's second book, seems to have been inspired by his stay in Varanasi (India). In Sanskrit, the word Lila is "a way of describing all reality, including the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play by the divine". Someone on Wikipedia also seems to have made this connection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lila:_An_Inquiry_into_Morals

Edit3: I spent the last hour digging into a 15-year-old hard drive (oh, what painful fun). I found a folder with my notes on Robert Pirsig! Most interestingly, my meeting notes with Dr. Mukherjee. I gave him the book and he flipped through the chapter for 20 minutes reading the sections I had underlined (where his name was mentioned). This frail man of seventy, said with a smile on his face: "He must not have been an attentive student. I never taught him this way". Most of the notes are about him reminiscing about the "golden years" of the philosophy department when according to him many great philosophers came to visit and study at the philosophy department at Banaras Hindu University.

3
gerbilly 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I read once somewhere that a reviewer said something along the lines of: "He didn't understand Zen and he didn't understand motorcycle maintenance either."[1]

However I read it several times and I think that interpretation is very uncharitable.

It is a touching big hearted story about a fractured person struggling to put himself back together while trying to connect with his son and while trying to figure out what it means to live 'the good life.'[2]

If what he had was metal illness, I think that he might be an example of someone putting it to the best use possible.

I'm honestly not sure if the MOQ holds up as philosophy or not, or even as a coherent mystical system. But I can say that I wish there were more books like it, that is to say: written by authors way on the fringe of mainstream thought.

[1] My critique about the Zen aspect is that Buddhism is not something you theorize about, it is something you practice. To theorize about Buddhism would be like a guy who reads a lot about golf trivia, golf training, golf biographies, but does not play golf. Golf is a thing you do, an aspiration to get the ball into the little hole. It is something you have to embody and realize in yourself. Buddhism more resembles learning a sport or a craft than a philosophy.

[2] Many of us should be so lucky to achieve even one of those things in a lifetime.

4
rgrieselhuber 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I was kind of a punk in high school and I was in a week-long suspension room for skipping a bunch of classes. The room monitor was this cool older dude with a long beard who talked a lot about life, philosophy, and things like that.

We weren't allowed to read or do anything but sit in boredom during suspension (school rules) but he made an exception for me if I wanted to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (at his recommendation).

I bought a copy and brought it to suspension the next day, read the whole thing that week. Good memories thanks to the room monitor dude and an excellent book.

5
theprop 1 day ago 2 replies      
And you think you're having troubles with your startup?

"Zen was published in 1974, after being rejected by 121 publishing houses...then Pirsig lived reclusively and worked on his second book Lila for 17 years before its publication in 1991."

"Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn't exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist."

6
ffdixon1 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I must have ready ZMM at least seven times (so far) in my life. Back when I was taking an undergraduate, I read it the first time and was inspired to take as many English courses as I could. I wanted to be a technical writer. After a series of co-op work-terms in the field (the companies loved a tech writer who could also program), I landed a full-time job as a technical writer in a large telecommunications company. I would read ZMM on the bus to work for inspiration. Pirsig could write with such clarity that I tried to emulate him in my writing (as I'm sure all poor writers do). I eventually returned to programming as it was my first love. The job as a tech writer definitely improved my writing skills, and reading ZMM definitely improved my life.
7
cypherpunks01 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you love the book and haven't seen the other photos from the trip, check them outit's 12 photos Pirsig took during the summer 1968 trip! Pirsig sent them to a professor who was doing ZMM-related research:

http://venturearete.org/ResearchProjects/ProfessorGurr/galle...

8
nickbauman 1 day ago 4 replies      
While I enjoyed the book, for me going back over it years later, in the afterword for the second edition: a crushing blow. It now overshadows the book for me. It describes the murder and aftermath many years later of his son that was featured in the novel. Here. I found it. Read it.

:'(

http://theaetetus.tamu.edu/online-texts/zen/zen-afterword.ht...

9
Insanity 1 day ago 1 reply      
May he rest in peace.

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance was one of the first books on philosophy that I read outside of my philosophy curriculum at university and it stayed with me.

It's a great book discussing the metaphysics of quality, but not just that. It's written in a captivating way, mixing both the 'food for thought' as well as a pleasant narative about a father and a son on a motorcycle trip.

It's one of the philosophy books that I can recommend to people who are not directly interested in philosophy as well, which gave me some quite fun discussions with my friends about the topics in the book without being too deep into the philosophy itself.

10
dap 23 hours ago 2 replies      
"Zen" has its strengths and weaknesses, but I found its discussion about "gumption traps" (Chapter 26, I believe) to be absolute, solid gold. Pirsig's description of what it's like to do gritty work on a complex system -- and all the logical, mental, and emotional blocks associated with that -- really resonated with my experience as a software engineer, and they've helped me get better at being aware of those blocks and getting past them.

May he rest in peace.

11
CurtMonash 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wish more people had read that book.

Anybody with some education in philosophy figures out that utter, logical-proof certainty can't be had. So what does one do for epistemology instead? There are two main alternatives:

-- Religious-style faith. This is not my preferred choice.

-- An aesthetically-tinged approach to epistemology.

What I mean by the latter is, for example, generalizing Occam's Razor into usability. The problem with Occam's Razor is that it says, in effect, "In case of doubt go with the simpler answer", without giving a general way to judge what's simpler. Any solution to that problem winds up being an aesthetic kind of judgment.

12
Turing_Machine 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Phdrus' provocation informed the Chairman that his substantive field was now philosophy, not English composition. However, he said, the division of study into substantive and methodological fields was an outgrowth of the Aristotelian dichotomy of form and substance, which nondualists had little use for, the two being identical.

He said he wasn't sure, but the thesis on Quality appeared to turn into an anti-Aristotelian thesis. If this was true he had chosen an appropriate place to present it. Great Universities proceeded in a Hegelian fashion and any school which could not accept a thesis contradicting its fundamental tenets was in a rut. This, Phdrus claimed, was the thesis the University of Chicago was waiting for.

He admitted the claim was grandiose and that value judgments were actually impossible for him to make since no person could be an impartial judge of his own cause. But if someone else were to produce a thesis which purported to be a major breakthrough between Eastern and Western philosophy, between religious mysticism and scientific positivism, he would think it of major historic importance, a thesis which would place the University miles ahead. In any event, he said, no one was really accepted in Chicago until he'd rubbed someone out. It was time Aristotle got his."

13
matt4077 1 day ago 2 replies      
There's a rather negative critique floating around that someone is bound to post, sooner than later. And it is, in itself, worth reading. It's possibly even rightI read both the book and the critique twice, and came away believing both, somewhat paradoxically.

But I wish to make the case that the book is worth reading for its literary value alone. The narrative parts are a gentle, beautiful telling of this father/son trip across the northwest, and reading it will leave you with enjoying nature (or, more generally, reality) with something like a calm optimism.

14
phlakaton 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I stumbled across this quote somewhere in my university days: "The errors of great [people] are venerable because they are more fruitful than the truths of little [people]." (It's Nietzsche reflecting on Schopenhauer IIUC and it's a quote I think can apply equally well to Nietzsche himself!)

I think this applies to a lot of the great writing I have loved, and perhaps Pirsig's ZAAMM falls into this bucket. After all, for all of its classical philosophical underpinnings and serious intent, it does not seem to have achieved much status as as work of philosophy. You won't find Pirsig's name (except in passing) in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for example. The book is also over a generation old. I suppose there's a question, therefore, of whether it will endure as a book that future generations will draw inspiration and ideas from.

Nevertheless, I think it stands admirably as a iconoclastic, genre-bashing, cross-pollinating, fascinating exploration of philosophical ideas, and, as Pirsig himself observed, as a "culture-bearer" of the time and place it was written. This makes it a classic of American writing as far as I am concerned, if not a classic treatise in philosophy.

RIP, Mr. Pirsig.

15
lanbanger 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's no exaggeration to say that this book changed my life. I learned so much from it, and apply what I learned on a daily basis. I was only thinking a couple of weeks ago that it's time for another re-read: that's definitely the case now.

RIP Robert M. Pirsig :-(

16
cm2012 1 day ago 3 replies      
Not a fan of the book (it calls to mind an acid trip - the author sounds like he understands something deeper, but there's no clarity to it), but the author undeniably had a thought process different than the mainstream, which is always valuable.
17
vr46 1 day ago 2 replies      
The conclusion to one of my favourite sections:

"In other words, any true German mechanic, with a half-century of mechanical finesse behind him, would have concluded that this particular solution to this particular technical problem was perfect."

Anyone else remember that bit? I now ride a big BMW R1200RT. I wonder if this book influenced me to do that? RIP Mr Pirsig

19
jackhack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who enjoyed "ZenATAOMM", I found another in a similar vein: "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work"

"...author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world."

https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulcraft-Inquiry-Value/dp...

20
dwe3000 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't remember how I came across it, but I remember reading it early in high school - 9th grade, I think - and loving it. While the philosophy was a great read, the ideas of understanding and caring for your equipment influenced my thoughts on all the technology I use, even if I'm not a mechanic.
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temp246810 1 day ago 0 replies      
>>>"The book is brilliant beyond belief," wrote Morrow editor James Landis before publication. "It is probably a work of genius and will, I'll wager, attain classic status."

Amazing when things like that are foretold. (Yes I know, survivorship bias blah blah)

22
arh68 16 hours ago 3 replies      
A thought occurred to me the other day. What if it's not so good to "be one with the bicycle" ? What I mean is, I feel the narrator identifies too strongly with the machine. The frustrations of the machine translate directly to him, leading to crap avoiding gumption traps.

Like composition v. inheritance, you don't always want to become the thing, you just want to use it. It's dangerous to become a thing, especially one without any Quality.

Maybe I resonate more strongly now with the BMW driver. I don't know. Maybe I didn't really understand the book.

23
rmc 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a great philosophy book, but kinda rubbish as a motorcycle travel book. I recommend Jupiters Travels (from the same era) for an excellent motorcycle travel book.
24
sizzzzlerz 1 day ago 3 replies      
Was there a US university philosophy class in the 70s and 80s that didn't include reading this book? Maybe outside the US, as well. Someone said about it that it was as much about riding and fixing motorcycles as Moby Dick was about whaling. Much like the book, I'm not sure I totally understand that but you can't deny its importance.
25
dustinkirkland 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I've (re-)read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance every time I've bought a motorcycle [1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2014].

Pirsig's concept of "quality" sticks with me in every decision I make as a parent, engineer, and product manager.

RIP, Mr. Pirsig.

26
dugditches 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If anyone hasn't heard this(hour long):http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2623057085

An interview with someone who interviewed Pirsig. With clips from that original interview.

Very, very good radio.

From personal relation to the book. When I was young I went on a motorcycle trip on the back of my father's motorcycle, with his friend and son.

We pulled into a small rural gas station, and there was a younger guy filling up a small foreign car. And he just started laughing upon talking to us. He had just taken time off his undergrad after reading a book about man and his son on a motorcycle trip. And wrote the name down on the back of our map.

While I was far to young to understand the book at first, reading it over again and again as I got older it was a different learning experience each time as I grew.

27
inimino 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This book was on my reading list for many years, and I finally read it a couple years ago. A wonderful book.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes reading. It's not just the philosophy and it's not just the story, it's the way they are part of the same whole, with deep roots in the American landscape, that makes this book so special. Now I want to revisit it and see if I can pick up his later work as well.

If you still haven't read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

28
luckydude 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the Zen book but did not understand it at all the first time I read it (somewhere in grade/high school). All I got the first time around was that it was sort of a boring book about a dude taking a motorcycle ride and there was a lot I skipped over.

Read again when I was a bit more ready to hear it and wow, profound book. The church of reason lecture is awesome. And timeless.

I hope this guy found some peace in his life, I did get the sense that he was struggling but that's just a guess.

29
seanxh 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I think its important now to tie care to Quality by pointing out that care and Quality are internal and external aspects of the same thing. A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares. A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person whos bound to have some characteristics of Quality Thank you and RIP Mr.Pirsig
30
craneca0 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.
31
westoncb 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I read a little over half of ZMM about a year ago, and there's one aspect of it that caught my attention which I'm surprised to not see mentioned here.

He gives a break down of a certain style of thinking about things where you break the subject down into parts and the relationships between the parts. He gives examples in technical writing that this process has a degree of arbitrariness to it. His circumscribing the general process of conceptualizing things suggests that the process itself has limits, and while valuable, is not everything (despite the tendency of certain mentalities to see things that way. He has an ongoing contrast between himself who is inclined to think that way and others who aren't.) I see this as a bridge to understanding Eastern philosophy's low opinion of language and penchant for indirect explanations.

32
udkl 22 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are thinking of purchasing this book from the kindle store, buy the mass market paper book for $3.99 and then matchbook it to get the kindle version for $2. This way you end up with 2 copies for the price of the standalone kindle version and you can give one away.

I borrowed the book from the public library just last week.

33
iaw 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My first thought: why is that name so familiar?

My second: Oh.

Pirsig's book was there for me during a challenging time of my life. I never finished it, but I'm not so confident that I really needed to. Just starting the book in many ways can be enough.

34
andrewbinstock 1 day ago 2 replies      
A wonderful book that I'm amazed ever got published. Still, as noted in wikipedia: "It was originally rejected by 121 publishers, more than any other bestselling book, according to the Guinness Book of Records."

[edited to remove spoiler I shouldn't have mentioned -- my apologies]

35
botswana99 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a lot for an engineer to love in the ZMM -- fixing things, a meditation on screws, the quality of shims, and father-son story. It's tempting for a rational engineer to laugh at philosophy. But it's a quality book.
36
MrBra 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember reading his book years ago and thinking it was an amazing read. I don't remember much about it now and I will for sure take a look at it again. I highly suggest it!
37
emmelaich 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is not a very good book but it is a good book.

I loved it and will always remember it when I have forgotten many other books. It is not a 'philosophy' book but it is quite philosophical.

It's worth a read but it's slow in parts. Push yourself through or skip a few chapters.

Like many other readers my favourite part is the drink can as shim.

38
slvrspoon 13 hours ago 0 replies      
RIP RP.

For those who are interested, a little more info to contribute...

RP, apparently though I can't substantiate, was tested as having a "Genius level IQ" as an early child.

After reading both ZMM and LILA carefully, I believe he has gotten as close as anyone to a philosophy that explains humanity and blends successfully eastern and western history and perspective on such.

LILA is the serious effort and a far more important book, though it has gone largely ignored.

Some interesting info for fans to dig into here:http://robertpirsig.org/AHP%20Transcript%203.html

39
bariswheel 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Rest in peace, Mr. Robert Pirsig. Your books stimulated and entertained my intellect during my high school/undergrad years, served as a gateway to get a better grip on philosophy in general, and had a lasting influence on me this day. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
40
HAL9OOO 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I never post here but this saddens me greatly, his ideas spoke to me on another level.
41
amy12xx 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I found the road trip part of the book enjoyable, but the philosophy (Quality) talk a bit drawn out and something I didn't get. Have been intermittently reading it, but haven't finished it yet.
42
baali 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I had finished reading the book(ZAAMM) recently. I have been sharing its snippets with friends and talking over them. I found it really insightful and reflective.
43
runevault 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've owned the ebook of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for years but never read it. I think I need to finally make time for that book.
44
fineline 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Wer reitet so spt durch Nacht und Wind?Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind.-- Goethe

Vale Pirsig

45
coss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really enlightening book. Definitely among my top three of all time.
46
DubiousPusher 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Zen is still a great gateway text into philosophies Eastern and Western. It's nice he lived to a ripe old age.
47
musgravepeter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Easily the book I have re-read the most times.
48
accountyaccount 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a lot to pick at about the book, but it's a great introduction to some basic philosophical concepts.
49
pasbesoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember -- belatedly, after a few suggestions to do so -- reading "Zen" the summer after I graduated. I rarely notate in a book, but that copy ended up full of notes in the margins.

At the time, I thought it was one of the most significant things I'd read. Of course, I was young, and it was a long time ago. (And then, life and injury and illness and... well, a distinct lack of quality happened, and I never got back to it.)

I've been meaning, intending, lately, to reread it. Last year, I was invited into a book club. I've considered suggesting it -- I think I will.

Quality. Eloquence, in a word.

P.S. I've been thinking about getting a bike and riding for a summer. Adequate, but not overdone -- and quiet.

Piece by piece, this rough idea has been sketching itself in.

Don't know why I'm telling HN, this, or why you should care. Except that we all should care about quality. And about a man who thought and felt hard on the topic and in turn gave us much to think about. Reflected much of ourselves, to ourselves -- giving us eyes and ears into ourselves and our choices.

Anyway...

50
shirazi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very sad to hear this news. May he rest in peace.
51
breeze_em_out 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me guess, there will mysteriously be no black bar.
52
mmaunder 19 hours ago 0 replies      
RIP Phaedrus.
53
camperman 1 day ago 3 replies      
My introduction to Quality Without a Name and motorcycling. I still ride and still appreciate engineering that somehow manages to be greater than just the sum of its parts: the Leica M3, the Blackbird SR71, the HP 12C.
54
winter11 12 hours ago 0 replies      
how did he die and when
55
winter11 12 hours ago 0 replies      
how did he die
56
mtempm 23 hours ago 5 replies      
It's amazing public schools are permitted to do this. There's nothing for the kid to grow from in a child sitting around doing nothing. Children grow from experiences and challenges. Minds forced into isolation with no stimulation are stunted, and there's scientific evidence to support that. Obviously one week is not going to make or break a person, but this school policy is exceptionally ignorant.
57
anigbrowl 21 hours ago 4 replies      
We weren't allowed to read or do anything but sit in boredom during suspension (school rules)

What kind of fucking school discourages people from reading even if they're in detention. Stories like this make me glad I didn't grow up in the USA.

58
maerF0x0 1 day ago 3 replies      
I didnt understand apple until I read this book. Before then I was a total robot.
9
System76 is moving product design and manufacturing in house system76.com
616 points by b01t  5 days ago   321 comments top 10
1
AdmiralAsshat 5 days ago 10 replies      
The posts comparing various laptops to the Dell XPS 13 and calling them similarly sized are missing a key point: the XPS 13's lack of bezels. It is a 13" screen, but due to the lack of bezels, it basically fits in an 11" chassis.

I think that's an often overlooked detail and one of the pieces of "sexiness" that makes it very difficult to want to switch away from an XPS 13: it's so damn portable.

System76 needs to come out with something comparable to that before I can switch. The market of people who want something rugged/durable/functional are already taken care of by the Thinkpads. The market that is still untapped is that of the Linux ultrabooks. Developers and other Linux enthusiasts basically just want a MBA/MBP that runs Linux natively. Do that, and people will flock to it.

2
SunShiranui 5 days ago 8 replies      
It's nice to see this - I'm definitely interested in seeing computers built and designed for Linux.

I must say, however, I don't see that need for desktops. Custom desktops are relatively easy to build, even for customers.

A well designed linux laptop, with no driver issues, good build quality, that doesn't sacrifice performance for thinness? That's what I'm missing.

3
josephpmay 5 days ago 2 replies      
I wish System 76 the best of luck, and it appears as they're now the main developer/sponsor of RedoxOS, which really excites me, but for some reason this blog post reads to me to have a healthy dose of naivety to it. It seems like they want to have their cake and eat it too. They talk about "robots and automation!" but do they actually know how to run a modern factory? Can the demand for desktop Linux systems actually support what they want to build? This is going to take a huge amount of scaling and hiring, and I hope this means that they're taking in significant VC funding.
4
publicfig 5 days ago 2 replies      
This seems like an incredibly high bar/expectation to set for themselves, and while I'd love to see them succeed, I don't have a lot of confidence. The fact that they've decided to start out building desktops really solidifies that doubt. I just don't see a world where there is a demographic of people that both know about System76 and want to use a non-standard OS on a desktop computer, but also aren't familiar with building one themselves. In an enterprise environment, I don't see them making a huge dent either when many companies will already have deals with major enterprise manufacturers for desktop units, which are fairly easy to turn into GNU/Linux machines as is. It just seems like a sinkhole trying to pour effort into a form factor that has become incredibly unpopular over the past few years, and also (very publicly) setting the expectation that this effort will lead to the "the Model S of computers".

From a personal/consumer standpoint, all I want to see anymore is a competitor to the Macbook Pro, with a comparable track pad, display, keyboard, battery life and form factor. I'd love to move away from my MBP, but the closest competitor I've found is the XPS 13 and, while it's a great laptop, just doesn't hold a candle to the MBP in a few of those areas. I wish System76 luck and would love to see them prove me wrong. This press release, so early in the process, just seems like a lot of pressure for the company to live up to, especially based off of their past offerings.

5
francis-io 5 days ago 8 replies      
I hope you guys have lots of success, we really need more options for linux on a laptop.

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I really want a 13 inch laptop thats thin/ultrabook format, with low specs and only a HD screen. All I do each day is use a browser and SSH into other machines, I don't need an i5/i7 processor and HiDPI display to do that.

My ideal laptop would be an XPS 13 sized laptop, with a 1080p screen, i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and as much battery life increases as possible.

6
sqeaky 5 days ago 1 reply      
So many people here are suggesting the XPS 13, but there is so much Dell BS to put up with.

There are many configurations and many redundant options, and silly coupons that work on some models and not others. The buying options are entirely unclear, I think intentionally so. Just like HP and some of the other major OEMs. Please don't read this wrong, I love options, but I dislike foolish inconsistency. When I build a desktop I can choose any CPU, any GPU, any Mobo... When I look at the 4 models (lines, tiers, whatever) of the XPS 13 they have redundant options, 4 different ways to get to the same configuration with no reason I can see for a $200 difference in price. When I spend my money I want to know what I am buying.

Beyond the normal BS is that part of buying System76 is not giving money to microsoft. I think microsoft is evil, not an exaggeration, legitimately evil. Not giving them money is a huge selling point for me. I think this is a discussion for another thread and will not defend this here and now, Just take that I (and at least a few others) won't willingly give money to microsoft. So where is the option for an XPS with Linux, any flavor (or even Freedos or no OS) pre-installed?

Because none of the XPS 13 systems say they support what I choose for my OS, what is my recourse if I do blow away the pre-installed OS and something doesn't work? They are free to change the hardware when they please and I have ordered two dells with identical model numbers and gotten 2 different things (even in their business class of machines). They are making it clear that I am not their intended customer and mine is not their intended use case.

7
Klasiaster 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think also https://puri.sm/ has to be mentioned here because they take the Free Software principles even further and will soon have a coreboot version with disabled Intel ME.
8
mmgutz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
To be frank, I've never been impressed by system76 laptops. They're more expensive and often bulkier. It seems like they just rebrand name brand laptops and ugly ones at that. Maybe the manufacturing in house will change that.

I bought an ultralight Acer of so-so quality and the thing runs Xubuntu, i3 almost flawlessly out of the box. I'm not going to pretend it's a Macbook Air or XPS but it matches them in function for a lot less money.

9
kayoone 5 days ago 1 reply      
System76 gained some popularity from the frustration about the latest MBP, so i guess this is their response to that.I don't really buy the text about their vision and goals though, in the past they have not really been well known for great build quality or good design. They basically sold pre-installed Linux on rebranded chinese laptops.Their new goals are ambitious and sound too ambitious but i wish them best of luck.

I am quite happy with my 2016 MBP, by no means perfect, but my overall Mac experience did not change that much.

10
artellectual 5 days ago 1 reply      
Don't be shy to look at what Apple is doing. They got it right! I would be happy to pay premium for an excellent build quality linux laptop.
10
The U.S. wind industry now employs more than 100K people washingtonpost.com
452 points by doener  3 days ago   314 comments top 15
1
jMyles 3 days ago 9 replies      
I live in a school bus, traveling the country. I think wind turbines are absolutely beautiful; I always marvel at them when we drive by.

Does anybody here know how to break into this industry, working on a mobile, on-site basis? Maybe with embedded tech?

2
rodionos 3 days ago 2 replies      
According to the EIA [0], wind energy reached 5.6% of total electricity production.

Having worked with raw EIA data I can say that the inputs are not very reliable: a) a lot of smaller farms are not included in EIA data b) reporting is voluntary and 30%+ of wind sites stopped reporting data in 2016, for example [1], and c) reporting is based on surveys which means errors, delays, etc.

The US is really lagging behind when it comes instrumenting and monitoring its energy infrastructure.

[0](https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3)

[1](https://www.eia.gov/opendata/qb.php?sdid=ELEC.PLANT.GEN.5214...)

3
mmanfrin 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love this -- and many of those 100K jobs are maintainatory jobs, permanent and not tied to continual production and growth.

I always hate how projects are touted as 'bringing X many jobs to the region' when a majority of cited jobs are in the construction or building of whatever the project is, and then evaporate away once it's built.

4
tuna-piano 3 days ago 3 replies      
When something is cheap, people buy more of it. If you are someone who wants more wind power to be produced, you want it to be cheap. You should be rooting for cheaper wind prices, which come with increased efficiency (including less employees per unit of energy produced).

Of course, less employees per unit of energy could equate to more total employees if the increase in energy produced is greater than the increases in efficiency.

As far as I can tell, the types of energy policies we have in the US do a pretty good job of incentivizing increased efficiency in all types of energy, including renewables. I'm definitely not knowledgeable about this though, so maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

5
JohnTHaller 3 days ago 1 reply      
For comparison, coal employs about 77k people. About the same as the bowling and skiing employment numbers.
6
mrfusion 3 days ago 3 replies      
I've always wondered why we don't combine wind and solar on the same land. The shadows from the turbines would be negligible and you could reuse the same electrical hookups and wiring.

In fact you could raise mushrooms under the solar panels and get triple use of the land.

7
titojankowski 3 days ago 2 replies      
From a programming/hardware hacker perspective, are there any opportunities in wind generation worth exploring? Perhaps mini-turbines, or a turbine array with wind positioning?
8
tinco 3 days ago 9 replies      
The article does not respond to the claim of the president that windmills kill birds. Do they really in a significant way? Is it worthy of being called an environmental disaster?
9
tyingq 3 days ago 0 replies      
The figures appear to come from an "Energy and Jobs Report" on energy.gov: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/2017%20U...

See page 29.

Solar, for example, employs 373,807. Natural Gas: 362,118 Nuclear: 76,771

10
mrfusion 3 days ago 1 reply      
I still think kite based systems have a ton of potential.

I've also designed a super low cost wind power system anyone can just stick in their yard. Basically a flat wide pole you stick in the ground that the wind blows up and down. (Think wind blowing across a grassy field). I need help with engineering to make any more progress though.

11
nashashmi 3 days ago 0 replies      
So how many jobs is that per kilowatt of power? Or vice versa?
12
quickben 3 days ago 5 replies      
Anybody has a good link to compare TOC of solar vs wind?

From what I've heard, solar panels have a definite lifespan, but are maintenance free until then.

Wind could last longer provided you maintain it right.

13
douche 3 days ago 1 reply      
The future, where everyone involved in a major industry can be fitted into an SEC football stadium.
14
notadoc 3 days ago 3 replies      
I recall some years ago T Boone Pickens had a plan for a large scale wind project throughout the midwest, but it fell through for various reasons.

At what point will solar efficient enough to lay out massive solar grids in Texas, Arizona, and SE California?

15
laughfactory 3 days ago 1 reply      
Number of jobs, by itself, is a worthless statistic. What's the median wage? If it's $10/hr then it's like reporting on how many people are employed in fast food.

Reality is that most jobs, in most sectors, pay crap. Wind energy is no exception.

11
CodeStar Quickly Develop, Build, and Deploy Applications on AWS amazon.com
570 points by jeffbarr  6 days ago   182 comments top 45
1
AlexB138 6 days ago 19 replies      
That sound you hear is thousands of Ops Engineers' future prospects falling further and further into question.

It's becoming hard for me to justify staying in the 'DevOps' space with amazing solutions like this coming out regularly from AWS. I can hitch myself to the AWS wagon for a while, but eventually, it seems, dedicated operators just won't be needed for most small to medium deployments. It's tough, because I can see that this is genuinely moving the industry forward, but it's also negating the need for skills I've worked for over a decade to build. I guess this is what carriage builders felt like 100 years ago.

2
morinted 6 days ago 5 replies      
We'll need a new entry added to AWS in Plain English: https://www.expeditedssl.com/aws-in-plain-english
3
jorjordandan 6 days ago 2 replies      
Amazon's design language is very meh. Even if you aren't in a cubicle, as soon as you are on their website, you feel like you are in a cubicle. With bad lighting. Heroku is way ahead in this regard. (not saying that is the most important consideration)
4
nathan_f77 6 days ago 5 replies      
This looks amazing. When it matures, this is probably going to kill Heroku.

This may also mean that I will never have to touch devops again. I may never have to use Terraform, Kubernetes, Docker, CoreOS, and all that other stuff. At least, not for small to medium-sized deployments. It also means that I'll never need to touch Dokku or Flynn. I was about to say that some company just wasted a lot of money on Deis, but then I remembered that it was Microsoft. So maybe that was a good move, although I feel like Azure is the Bing of cloud providers.

I'm actually angry that this took so long. This should have been available 5 years ago.

5
jrowley 6 days ago 1 reply      
I feel for the skyliner folks today, but their product still looks better/more feature filled than aws's native offering.

https://www.skyliner.io/

6
Alir3z4 6 days ago 0 replies      
AWS has a lot of resource to build something "easy to work with" like heroku, but it doesn't. Maybe CodeStar is an attempt ?

CodeStar is more like AWS Elastic Beanstalk, the one that I still don't know how to take it into my toolchain and development flow.

Now AWS CodeStar, that requires bunch of clicks, wizards, permissions configuration, choosing a template and then another changes...

To get started with they needed to show bunch of screenshots, while something like Heroku would tell how to use the whole thing in 2-3 commands in terminal. That's all.

However, I hope something like CodeStar get more polished and mature so I can move have one place to bill and one thing to worry about and not docker, kubernetes, mesos, ansible, ssh into machine, database backups, etc...

edit: Just found out for web applications they use Elastic Beanstalk as deploy step.

7
angryasian 6 days ago 2 replies      
I don't care about lock in, and I just want something secure and easy to deploy an application. Pricing is important, but heroku gets expensive fast, and I'd eventually like something that I can manage myself once released and I can dedicate more time to.

I think this looks great.

8
nikolay 6 days ago 0 replies      
Again and again, no CloudFormation support!

Edit: Looking into the CloudFormation templates created, there are CodeStar resources, so, I assume, the new resource types are just not documented yet. Not that it needs much documentation, but I will try creating a template with those to test if it works.

Edit 2: Here are the new resource types:

 CodeStarProject: Description: Starting project creation Properties: ProjectDescription: AWS CodeStar created project ProjectId: !Ref 'ProjectId' ProjectName: !Ref 'AppName' ProjectTemplateId: arn:aws:codestar:us-east-1::project-template/webapp-nodeweb-lambda StackId: !Ref 'AWS::StackId' Type: AWS::CodeStar::Project Version: 1.0 SeedRepo: DeletionPolicy: Retain DependsOn: [CodeCommitRepo] Description: Adding application source code to the AWS CodeCommit repository for the project Properties: CodeCommitRepositoryURL: !GetAtt [CodeCommitRepo, CloneUrlHttp] DefaultBranchName: master ProjectTemplateId: arn:aws:codestar:us-east-1::project-template/webapp-nodeweb-lambda Type: AWS::CodeStar::SeedRepository SyncInitialResources: DependsOn: [SeedRepo] Description: Adding the AWS CodeCommit repository to your AWS CodeStar project. Properties: ProjectId: !Ref 'ProjectId' Type: AWS::CodeStar::SyncResources Version: 1.0 SyncResources: DependsOn: [SeedRepo, CodeBuildProject, ProjectPipeline, SyncInitialResources] Description: Adding all created resources to your AWS CodeStar project Properties: ProjectId: !Ref 'ProjectId' Type: AWS::CodeStar::SyncResources Version: 1.0

9
GordonS 6 days ago 2 replies      
At a glance, this seems very similar to functionality that has existed in Azure for a very long time (templates in multiple languages, automated build and deployment, monitoring). Not sure why Azure gets so little love here on HN!

I don't mean to knock it, it's great to see this functionality make it to AWS, I was just wondering if there were any significant differences to Azure's offering?

10
quaunaut 6 days ago 0 replies      
From what I'm reading, this sounds quite a bit like Heroku-style functionality for AWS. Git push is your entire process to deploying a new build, without needing to set up a deployment pipeline, while having the usual escape hatches for deployment that the AWS toolchain has.

Definitely a cool thing, a good way to have something that's easy to start with, but as you need a more complex infrastructure would let you add it as necessary without incurring the usual "learn everything at once" cost.

11
chuparkoff 6 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, this does look awesome. Btw, it doesn't look like theyre promoting this in a huge way, but it just showed up in my feed that Atlassian is offering a free new JIRA Software license if you sign up from within CodeStar. I've been using Atlassian stuff since 2007 and I don't think Ive ever seen them do this before. I dont think theres a free version of JIRA? Has anyone ever seen that before? Pretty sweet! https://twitter.com/JIRA/status/854805603738365953
12
old-gregg 6 days ago 0 replies      
They keep climbing up the stack. The final step would be to provide ready-to-go outsourced development teams. Maybe they should acquire Gigster to plug the last gap. ;)
13
patrickg_zill 6 days ago 2 replies      
Basically more lockin to a single cloud provider.
14
kwahyaj 6 days ago 0 replies      
So this is pretty much AWS's answer to IBM Bluemix DevOps pipeline https://console.ng.bluemix.net/devops/getting-started
15
zifnab06 6 days ago 0 replies      
So...Spinnaker except with vendor lock in.
16
cdnsteve 5 days ago 0 replies      
Not using AWS CI, using Circle.

Not using their code hosting, use GitHub for code + Wiki.

My question is CodeStar only worth using when you need to deploy a basic "template" app out the door? What happens when our requirements mean changing web server config, firewall rules and all the actual things that happen that are customizations? If you start on CodeStar are you "stuck" with it or can you easily get off it but keep the underlying services? I know its just EC2 horsepower under the hood. The last thing I need is a service that isn't customizable, if that's the case maybe I'd be better sticking with straight Elastic Beanstalk?

17
cpt_snowcrash 5 days ago 0 replies      
I tried deploying a django app on EBS and node app through code star. The whole experience was really simple. It adds a whole new level of abstraction on deploying and maintaining apps on production level. Though similar solutions exist in market such as pythonanywhere and heroku, but all of this from AWS is just simply phenomenal. I 100% agree that code commit is just amazon trying to push through one of its products. But i don't think that really is the intent of codestar. They want to provide one opinionated workflow for your entire development lifecycle, which works incredibly well for teams of all size. And plus I wouldn't really worry about the lock in situation, thats a good problem to have if you reach a stage where you need to think about these issues and given aws's and overall amazon's stance on pricing I personally don't worry about it at all. Had this service been provided by microsoft I wouldnt have gone for it because of their history of over pricing and creating artificial lock ins. I had tried configuring EBS prior with one of my apps, but the quirks of setting it up had always left me quite frustrated. But this is actually a game changer. I am sure aws will add more templates for different stacks and add more options of extensions - right now only extension is jira. Overall I see codestar evolving into the central core of developing, maintaining and deploying web apps for companies of all sizes.
18
morgante 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm excited to see Amazon entering this space since I think far too much time is spent on setting up and managing devops tools, especially for small and medium-sized projects. [0] I've personally wasted lots of time on repetitively setting up CI/CD, autoscaling, and other basic infrastructure for different companies and projects. Anything Amazon can do to reclaim that time (and encourage more people to adopt best practices) is awesome.

That being said, after poking around I have a few criticisms:

1. It doesn't seem like the example templates include Docker. At this point, I think Docker should be considered a must-have for any new ops tool. It makes your application much more portable and eases the learning curve for new developers.

2. Getting things set up and working is still too complex. It took me 20 minutes to get my first project working fully (even just using their standard tools).

3. There doesn't seem to be any ability to bring in an existing project. It'd be awesome if I could just provide a GitHub URL and Amazon would automatically set up all the ops tools I need to have a production-ready deployment of that project.

I welcome the competition though. Let humans focus on unique work while computers automate things.

[0] In fact, I founded my startup on that premise: http://getgandalf.com/

19
brilliantcode 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think this coupled with their acquisition of c9.io is beginning to look like a real "cloud killer app".

My vision for AWS is being able to login to AWS and see c9 with one click deploy and configuration.

I'm patiently awaiting for this. It was one thing that really woke me up to Azure with their wizard form directly from Visual Studio. After AWS reinvent 2016, the Azurphoria wore off and I was an AWS fanboy once more. Having the ability to edit/deploy inside my browser would be a huge tide turning moment.

20
pritambarhate 5 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't tried CodeStar yet (planning to do it on this weekend.), but from the description it seems to have many moving parts already.

>>each project using AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CodeDeploy.<<

As a developer I don't need to know all of that. All I need to know is one command to deploy my deployment package for the project. That way I am productive quickly. Then give me the ability to configure the VM/container size and autoscaling. Now that my app is up and running, give me something like Azure WebJobs to run my worker tasks.

Amazon needs to have a better PaaS story than what BeanStalk is. BeanStalk is very flexible but in return, it ends up being too complicated to set up.

Compared to Heroku and Azure App Service (which I am using in a .Net project and was surprised to find very easy to get started with.), AWS Elastic BeanStalk is very complicated. With Heroku and Azure App Service, the developer friendly PaaS UX is more or less a cracked problem. AWS just needs to copy it well.

21
draw_down 6 days ago 3 replies      
Would it be unkind to suggest that they could look into hiring a designer or two?
22
SadWebDeveloper 5 days ago 0 replies      
Amazon is the leading hosting provider that continuously tries to hide the infrastructure cost to his clients aka developers so they paid more. Be careful of this "things" pricing should be taken seriously when considering AWS.
23
smagch 6 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any differences between Cloud Deployment Manager which GCP offer? https://cloud.google.com/deployment-manager/
24
neoh 6 days ago 0 replies      
Why wouldn't Amazon use its recently acquired c9.io as the development tool for this? Did they buy it just to drive it into the ground because activity from the staff has dropped quite a lot.
25
siliconc0w 6 days ago 0 replies      
Nice - though a lot of these Code* products still seem fairly half baked compared to their dedicated competitors. I kinda wish AWS would launch fewer better products than so many mediocre ones.
26
rajathagasthya 6 days ago 2 replies      
Does this take away the need for customers to develop their own tooling to interact with various AWS services? It's hard to understand what this is doing.
27
Walkman 6 days ago 2 replies      
I don't know how everybody feels about this but I really like to control my whole environment from the OS to what servers I use, how I secure them, what kernel features do I allow what packages do I install and how I protect my services. If something goes wrong, I fix it. If something goes wrong with CodeStart you wait for Amazon to fixit. I don't like giving up control.
28
kotojo 6 days ago 1 reply      
Would this make for a good way to get into aws/devops since it narrows the perspective of their services?

I have no experience with devops and want to learn to manage my applications directly (mostly use services like now or heroku currently), but looking at learning aws always seemed intimidating with the 600 different services they run.

29
jaypaulynice 6 days ago 0 replies      
I like how they make it look so simple, but then you go to do it, you'll keep cursing at this thing...I think debugging problems might be difficult...I wish in something like this they show a real video making this work and how long it really takes...
30
skybrian 6 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who's happy with Google App Engine for simple apps, is this in any way comparable?
31
bootload 6 days ago 0 replies      
"AWS CodeStar is a cloud service designed to make it easier to develop, build, and deploy applications on AWS by simplifying the setup of your entire development project."

So amazon moved from letting you develop from the cli to a gui-code editor.

32
neom 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm very curious to see how abstract aws is going to end up getting, would they build a browser (call an aws app directly-ish or something..?)? IMO There is a paradigm shift a-brewing and it doesn't look good for most of the clouds/vps providers.
33
hbcondo714 6 days ago 2 replies      
No .NET / C# template (yet) but the author selected to use Visual Studio as the IDE.
34
mcjiggerlog 6 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like they're trying to compete with Heroku. Will be interesting to see how this develops.

Doesn't quite look like they've nailed the ease-of-use quite in the way Heroku have yet, however.

35
randomsofr 6 days ago 0 replies      
I wish it supported Golang
36
spullara 6 days ago 1 reply      
It doesn't work for me. Their CloudFormation just fails every time I try to deploy one of the template projects. Painful.
37
technologyvault 5 days ago 0 replies      
CodeStar is similar to what Nanobox does, except that Nanobox can be used to deploy to any cloud host.
38
sigden 6 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like they're still working out some kinks. Getting a nice 500 error from the management console.
39
triggerman722 5 days ago 1 reply      
I lost count after 40 steps...explain the "quickly develop" part again?
40
tommoor 5 days ago 0 replies      
Only AWS would have a screenshot of a permissions error in a new feature launch post :D
41
startupdiscuss 6 days ago 2 replies      
Is this eventually going to compete with Cloud9, Koding, and other cloud IDEs?
42
jonahx 6 days ago 0 replies      
Could someone in the know explain how this differs from AWS Mobile Hub?
43
seanjregan 6 days ago 0 replies      
Hey Alexa- Can you fix these bugs for me now?
44
bushin 6 days ago 1 reply      
Where have all the devops gone?
45
obiefernandez 5 days ago 0 replies      
JIRA. Ugh.
12
The Guardian Pulls Out of Facebooks Instant Articles and Apple News digiday.com
471 points by r3bl  2 days ago   199 comments top 23
1
Symbiote 2 days ago 11 replies      
This discussion has reminded me that I intended to make a donation to the Guardian, since I read it every day and use an adblocker.

The link for a one-off contribution is here: https://contribute.theguardian.com/

Or for a subscription, here: https://subscribe.theguardian.com/

I tried the weekly paper edition for a while, but although it was posted on-time at the printers (in Britain or Austria), the Danish postal system usually delayed delivery to me by at least a week.

2
twsted 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is great, we all should support this.

The web is at a crossroad and we should promote multiple platforms, old-style blogs, decentralized navigation, classic journalism, etc.

For too many people, Facebook is the web and this is really sad and wrong.

We must find other ways to pay for information and curated content, limiting tracking and defending privacy.

3
nilkn 2 days ago 6 replies      
Facebook has single-handedly almost ruined news consumption among certain demographics in the US.

Your news feed is designed from the ground up with powerful artificial intelligence to become an echo chamber, and lots of FB users just don't understand this. They fall for it completely.

I have more liberal friends than conservative friends, and my FB feed literally only shows me anti-Trump pieces (along with ads and other spam), some of which are astoundingly blatant in their bias.

I have to go out of my way to seek out opinions from or articles shared by my conservative friends. Even if I do this frequently, FB still does not incorporate them into my feed. Instead, every single day, it shows me low-quality clickbait anti-Trump articles shared by someone who lived on the same floor as me in a college dorm 7 years ago with whom I shared one conversation in real-life and whom I've never interacted with on FB in any way aside from approving her friend request.

4
ch215 2 days ago 1 reply      
The trade magazine, Press Gazette, recently launched a campaign to 'stop Google and Facebook destroying journalism'

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/press-gazette-launches-duopoly...

5
OliverJones 2 days ago 0 replies      
Guardian spokesperson: "Our primary objective is to bring audiences to the trusted environment of the Guardian to support building deeper relationships with our readers, and growing membership and contributions to fund our world-class journalism.

Precisely. FB's brand with respect to news is damaged to the point where it's negative. FB is the place to get fake nuz. The Guardian and the Times are wise not to allow their content to move under the FB brand.

6
w-ll 2 days ago 1 reply      
How come the Apple News Feed in Siri isn't configurable? It doesn't even follow the sources of the News.app. It's constantly clickbaity or depressing. Who moderates and chooses that.
7
Someone 2 days ago 0 replies      
If a paper becomes a part of a large feed, it risks becoming an interchangeable part and that means the aggregator can lower prices.

In some sense, Apple faced that problem, too. It created its own sales channel, whereas the Guardian has one to fall back on.

In contrast, Intel when faced with that problem in the PC market, choose to work on brand awareness through the "Intel Inside" campaign. Reason likely is that, to create their own sales channel, they would have had to start making PCs, thus competing with their own customers.

So, Intel accepted that there were larger entities offering both their and their competitor's product, as long as it had ample opportunity to market its brand there.

So, perhaps the aggregators should work on two things: pay more to their contributors, and allow contributors more to present their brand.

8
kartan 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is one of the problems with monopolies, or maybe the bigger one. Once you are dominant in one business, search/mobile/messaging, you can take over other business without much effort.

They are not news companies, they are not in the news business, they don't know it, and they have not done anything to be worth the trust of the public. They are just convenient because they are a monopoly in another area.

9
chmars 2 days ago 6 replies      
Ah, Apple News. Americans might want to know that it is still not widely available in the rest of the world probably another failed Apple project.

I had some hope that Apple News could help RSS but that was apparently never Apple's intention.

10
Stranger43 2 days ago 0 replies      
The problem with the "semi-auto" curated feeds that all of the Internet middlemen thinks is going to finally allow them to turn their online market share into profits is that the feed idea depend on the same omnibus newspaper model* that no longer works for the newspaper industry.

The dead of the omnibus paper the press is forced to choose between a return to the old local/partisan model where the paper becomes a part of political movement and receives "patronage" from that movement in forms of paid subscriptions, or the yellow(named for the color of cheap paper) model that lives off scandal creation.

*Most of the newspapers of the 90ies based most of their revenue off content sourced from their network of partners a model that only really worked because the paper had access to long distance communication networks too expensive/exclusive for widespread usage among consumers.

11
rdiddly 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The draw of Instant Articles was that they load much faster than the Facebook links that take readers back to most publishers own sites."

Are you serious, that is the draw? Apologies as needed from me (someone who doesn't know or care a thing about Facebook) but I'm surprised. Couldn't a publisher easily silver-bullet this just by removing the bloatware from their own site?

12
fiatpandas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Always seemed crazy to me that publishers were willing to give up so much for these integrations. The ability to have final say over how readers experience your information, and opportunities for freely measuring/analyzing that experience, should be key for news organizations that want to evolve.

Integrating with FB IA & Apple News is giving up power for gains that may not be worth it in the long run.

13
sghi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I get why they've done it, and The Guardian is a site that I both contribute to and disable my ad-blocker for, but I will miss the speed at which the articles load on my ancient and rubbish phone.

I'd still rather support them though!

14
inian 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find it surprising that they are still going strong on AMP. I tend to club AMP along with Instant Articles, etc. Any thoughts on as to why this is the case?
15
Operyl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dunno, as a user I'm a bit sad. I enjoyed having a simple native app to view all my news in, (Apple News). I was subscribed to The Guardian, but now I don't feel like I'll get my worth from their network if I have to change my daily flow just for their news site.
16
nthcolumn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most writers, be they novelists, journalists, bloggers or whatever label suits you, wish to write and hope to be paid well enough for it so that they can write some more. Most will acknowledge that they have a bias from the very outset (called 'eating'). If you are 'lucky' enough to have some semi-permanent arrangement with some publisher you will have their biases to contend with and if your employer accepts monies for advertising you will have their clients' biases to contend with and if they accept subscriptions you must contend with the bias of protecting the bubble into which the subscribers so willingly insert themselves because here in the United Kingdom, newspapers and even television media have, historically and quite openly, been arranged along political and socio-economic lines to the degree that if one took the Guardian one could be fairly assumed to be a 'middle-class, slightly-left of centre, hand-wringing, grammar school educated' whereas if you took the Telegraph you were a cunt. I find it especially relevant today what with all this talk of what is and isn't 'fake news'. Can 'good' journalism be paid for? What is 'good' journalism? And what are you paying for? Clearly some people do not wish to wander from the menu and can be justifiably upset having paid for a certain serving at having other unpleasantries appear on their plates. When you pay for your subscription and I do not mean to pick, you might wish to pay the Dirty Digger instead or as well as even, do you expect 'a' truth or 'the' truth? If the unbiased reporting of facts is what you are after then doesn't an aggregated feed from a variety of sources much better fit that goal? I could write more...
17
frik 2 days ago 2 replies      
Would be great if some newspapers and other media cooperate and found a new friendly-minded ad-network. Provide old-school picture based banner ads with pay-per-click or pay-per-view models and no (or very small and fast) JS third party code/library.
18
mgiannopoulos 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Guardian is trying to get subscribers and donations. I'm not sure how much Apple and Facebook help them facilitate that goal.
19
throwaway348929 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would love a Netflix/Spotify-style news system where I pay a flat monthly fee, get articles from dozens or hundreds of providers, and absolutely, positively no ads. There's no other way I'll ever pay for a subscription to a single news source, and I'm going to continue to block ads. I agree with others that even just tracking what I read makes me not want to subscribe. I just want a news feed, possibly that I can tailor, and with no ads. I'll pay for it.
20
luhn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Instant Articles is the best experience I've ever had reading an article online. It loads lightning fast and doesn't have bloated layouts or obtrusive advertising. I was shocked the first time I [unknowingly] clicked on an Instant Article.

I think it's best for the internet's health that Instant Articles is slowly declining, but it did show me how much better the experience could be if people paid attention to that stuff.

(I'm only commenting on the bigger picture, nothing about the Guardian specifically. They actually have one of the better websites out there.)

21
Angostura 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sad to see The Guardian go from Apple News, though I respect their decision:(
22
carlmungz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it's way too late for media companies to regain any ground from platforms like Facebook, Snapchat etc. Their models need such a fundamental rethink and I'm not sure any of the execs in charge have to the stomach to do so.
23
davidf18 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thomas Frank ("What's the matter with Kansas, "Listen, Liberal (2016)), is an American journalist who was kicked off MSNBC and writes for The Guardian instead and not US MSM.

Not only did US MSM (NYT, WaPo, ...) ignore Frank, they ignored the fact that Trump and Sanders were better at protecting STEM jobs by combatting H1-B Visa abuse than Clinton. (See ComputerWorld article below).

https://www.theguardian.com/profile/thomas-frank

He was warning the Democrats not to ignore the affects of globalization on the working class:

March of 2016 Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here's whyhttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/donald...

After BrExit (July).The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up?https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/19/reveng...

The first article I started sending to people in early June.

He explains very clearly that the Democrats left drifted away from the strategy of FDR of supporting the working class and protecting American jobs. Hilary was for trade which decimated working class and for H1-B visas and illegal immigration which depressed wages for STEM and working class respectively.

Trump was anti-trade, anti-illegal immigration, and anti-H1-B abuse (he complained when Disney of FL replaced 250 American IT workers with H1-B). Notably, HRC was more like Bush and Rubio wanted to expand H1-B.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3008726/it-careers/bern...

"Sanders doesn't go into great detail about his work visa proposal, but at least he brings it up. His main opponent in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, doesn't discuss the H-1B visa at all in her "comprehensive" immigration platform.

Among the leading Republican presidential candidates, Donald Trump, the billionaire developer, has emerged as the chief H-1B critic for his party. Like Sanders, Trump wants prevailing wages increased. Another candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is on the cusp of reversing his previously supportive position and is working on reform legislation.

Republican candidates who are seen as H-1B supporters and would likely back an increase in the annual cap on the visas are former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Hillary Clinton may be more aligned with Rubio and Bush than she is with Sanders on the H-1B issue. While serving as a U.S. senator representing New York, Clinton traveled to Buffalo in 2003 to mark the opening of an office of IT services provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). That was 12 years ago, but the H-1B issue was very much a subject of controversy by then. TCS is one of the largest users of the H-1B visa.

The Clinton links to the IT offshore outsourcing industry have continued since then through the work of the Clinton Foundation, where Tata has been participating in its STEM education efforts. In 2011, former President Bill Clinton was paid $260,000 by IT services provider HCL to deliver a speech."

13
Microsoft: You need to fix your Skype and Microsoft account issues, this is insane kolemcrae.com
544 points by kolemcrae  5 days ago   170 comments top 64
1
badthingfactory 5 days ago 9 replies      
It looks like [email] is used with more than one account. Which account do you want to use?

- Work or school account

- Personal account

I get this prompt every time I try to log into Azure with my work email. If I choose the work account (the most intuitive option) my azure subscription list is empty. I have to log out and select the other option.

Why is there a difference and why isn't this transparent? I am authenticated, you know who I am, give me access to the things I'm authorized for. I don't know what kind of weird backend situation MS has, but asking me to understand it is terrible UX.

2
ArmandGrillet 5 days ago 1 reply      
Microsoft truly sucks with account management. Here is what happened to me with Microsoft Office last week:

- My Office University account expires.

- My father invites me to be part of his Office 365 Family subscription (it includes 5 accounts).

- I click on the "Get the invite" button on the email I have received and... "You already have an active account".

There was no way from the website to cancel my expired University account, the only available option was to subscribe to my own Office 365 Personal account (10/month).

I have contacted Microsoft and it took 90 minutes of chat, including a one hour session where a Microsoft support guy took control of my computer (it was totally useless, the error has been solved by a modification in the Microsoft account database), to fix the issue. As titled here: this is insane.

3
__jal 5 days ago 1 reply      
Shit like this is why I don't use anything from them. There are probably 15 or so different accounts for me in their DBs, which I will never even attempt to use again. Life is too short to put up with managing other people's CRM for them.

Apple is actually getting close to this bad, too, and in some ways, worse.

I gave my mother my old iPhone over a year ago. It was wiped, and we set it up with the 'family' whatsit. For reasons I won't go in to, at some point, I ended up giving her my Apple ID password to fix a problem when I couldn't do it.

Ever since then, something has periodically decided to sync a random assortment of things. It isn't consistent, temporally or in terms of what it syncs. (I'm very anti-cloud-service; I don't use online backup, sync or cloud docs or any other sync services from Apple. I think my other uses the backup, but nothing else, because the phone is her only Apple device.)

A few months ago, her contacts ended up splattered all over mine. I deleted them, it happened again a few days later, this time just a random assortment of them.

Yesterday, my call logs ended up on her phone.

Short of asking her to wipe the phone again, I don't know how to make this crap stop, but I'm sick of it. Seriously considering going back to a feature phone; everyone making modern phones appear to (a) make it impossible to have a self-contained phone without your personal life smeared across multiple companies' servers, and (b) be too incompetent to actually smear my personal life across their servers without fucking it up.

4
teekert 5 days ago 4 replies      
Try using Skype for business... Your chat history is gone when you switch to another app and is not even saved on a PC. It's always the question if a chat ends up on your laptop of mobile. You frequently miss chats or have a "you missed a chat" email, even though you were logged in. It is an insanely poor product. I guess it's not where their focus is. It could easily be a Slack alternative except that it is so bad.
5
jvagner 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yes.. I have a similar tale of woe.

I'd like to change the username of my basic Skype account. Alas, it has the company name I worked for at the time. I also have some credits in that account. I'd either like my credits back, or I'd like to change my Skype username. Neither are possible.

I'd also like Microsoft to stop asking me if I'm using a business account, or a personal account, when I enter my work email address into every Microsoft service we use every day.

That'd be nifty, too.

6
zamalek 5 days ago 0 replies      
By ways of some bad choices I wound up with 3 Microsoft accounts. I never knew which services were on each.

In addition to those 3 accounts, I had 2 Office accounts (one for work, one personal). Notwithstanding that the O365 sign in really can't handle two accounts on the same browser (by ways of automatic redirects) - I didn't know if services were on O365 or Live. MSDN and VSTS do not support O365 login, so I had to tell my Live account to claim my MSDN keys. It's nuts.

I eventually just forget about accounts. I stopped using O365 for personal email. Don't use O365 for anything personal, you will pay hell for it (for more reasons than merely sign in).

7
iamthepieman 5 days ago 2 replies      
I love that I can't sign up for Azure services because i need a "real" phone number and no, VOIP numbers like google voice, Microsoft's own Skype or even my actually land line (which is through my ISP and apparently classified as VOIP) won't work.

I don't have a mobile phone so that's fine, I can get texts on Google Hangouts or Skype but their account software refuses to send the verification texts to those numbers.

Fortunately there's an option to have them call you but they refuse to send call my home phone system that is registered with my name and that is a valid e911 number associated with an e911 address. A call with a Microsoft support person confirmed that nope, I can not sign up for Azure.

8
jordache 5 days ago 0 replies      
My Skype account was temporarily hacked at one point, to the extend that it got disabled it. I still have access to the email associated with my Skype account. I've talked to MS support on this already but for whatever reason, they can't validate my identity to the extend that I can reset the password on that skype ID. Their only solution was for me to create a new Skype account. What other cloud service does not allow reset of account via e-mail validation!?

What a cluster MSFT

EDIT: And guess what, I have not used Skype since.Trying to recreate my contacts and the whole process of having family accept my new account was a much larger barrier than just instructing my family to use another video chat service. FU MSFT.

9
mnm1 5 days ago 1 reply      
Skype accounts are fucked. Try signing in on Skype for Linux with two different accounts. If you're lucky, you'll experience the contact shuffle where some contacts are moved from one account to another and others randomly deleted from both accounts. I mostly stopped using Skype after that one.
10
_alexander 5 days ago 1 reply      
Here is a fun one. If you use the wrong email address for a password reset, Skype will create a skype user name and account linked to your email address. You will not be able to delete the Skype account. Yeah, fuck you Microsoft.
11
viggity 5 days ago 2 replies      
Microsoft's accounts are just managed horribly in general. I've got two microsoft accounts for work and one for personal. The personal one I separate out by having a different chrome profile. However, for work, I have to wrestle with the login screen for about 6 iterations everytime I want a new tab. I use one MS account for azure, another for office 365. Regardless of which one I enter/select, it always prompts me for the password for the other account. Drives me effing nuts. Plus that whol "is this a business account or a personal account" selection. jesus. so frustrating.
12
MS_Buys_Upvotes 5 days ago 1 reply      
https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/5jg8y6/fyi_crimin...

Reddit discusses hackers using weak Skype credentials to access other MS accounts and bypass 2FA

13
legohead 5 days ago 0 replies      
Funny to see this thread after what's happening to me today.

I need to get access to my Microsoft Office online documents. I go to login and it has me do a security check with my email: microsoft@mydomain.com. It's supposed to send a code to verify my email, but I never get it. So I try option 2, a different email: microsoft@myotherdomain.com. Never get the code...

Hmm, does it not like the word microsoft? So I try myname@mydomain.com, and I get the code! Although now I have to answer a bunch of questions and my account is under review -- I should get an answer within 24 hours.

But what about the future? My real account is still microsoft@mydomain.com. Will this keep happening? :\

14
stretchwithme 5 days ago 1 reply      
Don't get me started.

I once subscribed to Office and am pretty sure I had to supply my first and last name once if not multiple times. But the final confirmation email still started with "Dear null null".

15
philliphaydon 5 days ago 2 replies      
As much as I dislike Google services. Their account stuff just works. For everything they create. It just works.

I love MS stuff, but they have the worst account process ever, closely followed by Apple.

I do wish MS would sort their act out in regards to accounts.

I lost my Xbox account trying to transfer my games and such between my windows live account and an old account. Lost my games and points and credits :(

16
jackvalentine 5 days ago 1 reply      
I got caught by another Skype issue - merged my long-time Skype account with my MS account.

Old skype account - kinda bad password.

MS account - great password, 2FA.

Then I got alerts that someone in China had logged in to my MS account. I couldn't figure out how they'd done this until...

I figured out they'd signed in to skype, using my old skype username and old skype password that were still valid for some unknown reason after merging it in to my far more secure MS account.

17
franciscop 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have been using Hotmail and Skype since the old days, but now my Skype (on Linux, mind you) is totally unusable and the Outlook online abomination is becoming WORSE every day. I just noticed today that they added a DOOOONG sound to the "webapp", but then when I open it nothing happened. It was a message in the "Others" recently added tab (not a folder, not spam, somewhere in the middle but physically in a totally different place). I love the "Done" action from Inbox (Google) as it's a perfect categorization.

So I'm migrating everything to Inbox (Gmail) and people don't care at all switching to Hangouts instead of Skype.

18
chrisper 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, they need to fix a lot of things. Also if you use Onedrive online, you are automatically logged into Skype every time you use onedrive. You cannot log out. You can set yourself invisible, but you will be set back to online next time you log in again. It is ridiculous.

Another point is that you cannot use a "work account" you use in office365 as your personal account for OneDrive etc.

19
twakefield 5 days ago 0 replies      
My skype account was hacked (who's wasn't?) a few months ago. I tried to access it to change the password but in the process I was forced to link it some other Microsoft account that I didn't even know I had. It took me half the day to recover my original passwords then reset them. Now to get to Skype (if I'm logged out) I have to log into some Microsoft cloud identity thing.

All for a service (skype) I rarely use.

20
ianmcgowan 5 days ago 1 reply      
Google used to be pretty bad at this too, but they seem to have their act together these days. It's not an easy problem. But yeah, when I go to use a Microsoft service online it's always a crapshoot, and certain products require either a personal account or a work account. Syncing OneNote is a confusing mess because of this. And don't get me started on Lync/Skype for Business...
21
wslh 5 days ago 0 replies      
If I were Satya Nadella I would fire top Skype executives first, cannot believe how a rational company can destroy this brand. Full stop.
22
douche 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've got at least three different Microsoft accounts with the same email address. Supposedly there's a way to link them, so that this becomes less of a clusterfuck, but I've never been able to make that work. So it's just this big mishmash of resources associated more or less at random between these different accounts.

It's russian roulette every time I try to login to something that's authenticated with Microsoft accounts, and trying to remember which login I need to use to access which resources is more than I can keep track of, across outlook, MSDN, forums, Azure, Active Directory, etc, etc.

23
Zekio 5 days ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: impossible to delete old skype accounts without knowing EVERYTHING about it.

I have like 3 old skype accounts which shows up with my name which I can't access due to me not having the email addresses anymore nor do I remember the passwords, so it is a pain when people try to add me on skype and I contacted them and asked if they could delete my old accounts since I can't access them and they said that is not possible since I don't remember all the security questions and answers, wouldn't even give me the questions so I could have a chance at answering them..

Edit: added TL;DR

24
gwicks56 5 days ago 1 reply      
Managing accounts is a massive problem everywhere. I recently moved from Australia to the USA, and I have been having this problem ad-nauseam. Try switching your Google developer account to a US bank, or your amazon, paypal or god knows how many others. I accidentally put skype credits on the wrong skype account, and was hoping to be able to merge accounts somehow, but ending up just deciding it wasn't worth the $20.
25
mevile 5 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft should fix this, but I have learned to never link my personal accounts with work accounts after the Dropbox enterprise debacle that led to users losing their personal files! after having their Dropbox linked to enterprise Dropbox and then leaving the company.

These situations where you mix personal and enterprise/job accounts become edge cases that can be catastrophic for users stuck in them after they leave companies.

26
turc1656 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am also having a Microsoft account issue that is similar to this.

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/oaccou...

Difference for me is that I have no idea how the work account was created. I do an have Office365 account from my employer but we just recently switched and I had this problem before that account was created. Also, that Office365 account is linked to my actual work email. The problem I am experiencing is a "work" account that was mysteriously created on my personal email and it makes no sense. Over a month and no one has responded.

Anyone here have any ideas?

27
inopinatus 5 days ago 1 reply      
To some extent I think this is a user category error. Similarly, one of my platform's most frequent support requests is account recovery due to a change of employment. The number of people who use their work email for personal accounts, without thinking about the long-term consequences, is staggering.

Protip, don't name anything expecting you can change it later. See also: S3 buckets.

28
maxfurman 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is bad, and I'm not letting Microsoft off the hook here. But, there's an easy workaround for this particular case: Use an alias, such as myrealemail+msft@example.com, for the new account.
29
okreallywtf 5 days ago 0 replies      
Looking into active directory based features in Azure (key vault, etc) convinces me that somehow active directory is to blame for a lot of the confusing account issues around Azure. I get the feeling a lot of the microsoft authentication systems are built on top of active directory, which does not seem like the most straightforward auth system out there.
30
bpicolo 5 days ago 1 reply      
Google drive also has extremely frustrating multi-login issues. It frequently forces me to log out of all accounts in order to correctly access drive on a specific one. It's entirely random whether it works or not. It's just infuriating.
31
tatersolid 5 days ago 0 replies      
My corp can't use Azure. We really want to, we're mostly a MSFT shop that runs a largish SaaS application. But Microsoft automatically linked the organizational Azure account for our corporate internet domain to the personal account of an ops guy because of some cookie being present when he created the organizational Azure account. After six months of support calls MSFT cannot get it unscrewed. We're spending 50k USD per month with another cloud provider, and want to move to Azure to take advantage of SQL Azure and MSDN credits. But their screwed up account management system is losing them this revenue.
32
bsg75 5 days ago 0 replies      
> Let me change my Skype username. What the hell, this is just obvious.

The number of services that don't allow this is also insane. Its as if they use the username itself as a key, rather than one that is masked from the user allowing such changes.

33
s_kilk 5 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how many different Auth systems Microsoft has created/subsumed/whatever over the years. It'd be cool too see a graphic of all those services and how they have merged, or in what way they are layered currently.
34
ap46 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone has been successfully running brute forced attempts at login into accounts & spreading/amassing valid usernames & attempting brute force logins on them like a pyramid.My password of alphanumeric password of 9 digits got cracked & Skype fucking sent spam to everyone & now is most likely attempting to brute force their accounts as well.....they can't even implement a rate limiter for the logins against an IP.
35
gambiting 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ever since Lync(corporate IM system) got merged into Skype so that now it's just "skype for business" it's atrocious, easily the worst application I have on my PC.

If someone goes offline, Skype will show you how long they have been offline for. Except....that it's just a random number. I can set my status to offline right now, and my coworker will see that I've been offline for.....168 days. Or 700 days. Or 35 minutes.

Microsoft knew about this bug for years, and there is no fix for it.

Frequently, when I send messages to my coworkers, they appear ABOVE older messages in the coversation, which is extremely confusing, because obviously the whole window will flash to indicate you got a new message, but in reality you have to scroll up to actually see it.

Highlighting text is just broken, I dare anyone from MS to reliably highlight just a portion of text without the selection jumping to seemingly random part of the window without any indication how or why.

Arbitrarily low character limit, so you can't paste snippets of code.

During conference calls, audio just dies from time to time, and the only thing you can do about it is kill the conversation and start again. This is a product based off Skype, for fucks sake, that MS is charging us millions of dollars for globally, and that doesn't even have the basic functionality working correctly.

36
josteink 5 days ago 0 replies      
This thing singlehandedly made me ditch Skype.

I didn't know which my login were and it was random which contacts I would see and which contacts were able to message me at all.

I just gave up on it and never looked back.

37
stagbeetle 5 days ago 0 replies      
Wooh, am I glad I'm not the only one experiencing account problems.

An event I'm going to requires a Skype account of a preliminary interview. So I go to sign up with my gmail, and I'm able to create an account. However, I already had a Skype account through MS's weird Outlook program (I signed up with my gmail for Outlook, and it automatically created a Skype account without telling me . . . for the gmail account).

This bricks both accounts by loading to an error page when I login, telling me to go to MS's website to fix my account. I go there and then after spelunking through the maze of a UI, finally get to a page that tells me I need to call Microsoft to diagnosis the problem.

Screw that noise. It's 2017, this is archaic.

Luckily, there's a third option for signing up and that's through a phone number. I do that, but now I don't know what to enter for the username field in my interview app. I look through Skype's help docs, and it doesn't say anything about phone numbers.

I assumed my phone number is my username and that's how people can add me. Anyway, that's what I put in the app and I'm hoping that the UN acts like a UN and not a phone number with calling charges.

What a mess. It's also partly the event's fault for using Skype when better alternatives exist.

38
kayoone 5 days ago 2 replies      
this is not even touching on the security issues that arise from the fact skype does not support 2FA and the merged legacy accounts remain vulnerable.
39
dvtv75 5 days ago 0 replies      
I recently upgraded my Linux PC, and had to reinstall Skype.

So I sign in to the new Skype, and can't remember my password. That's OK, I'll just get them to reset it. Oh, my email address expired while my PC was sitting on the junk heap? That's OK, I'll follow their prompts, this shouldn't be too difficult.

"Unfortunately, we were unable to verify your ownership of this account using the information you provided. [...]

Please submit a new account verification formAt this point, your best option is to submit a new form with as much accurate information as you can gather."

I've provided the details of six different users who were on my contact list, the complete email address I used to use, and there is nothing else I can do. No email address I can contact, no phone number to ring.

Oh, and most importantly, there's no "Import old account settings" option.

Screw you, Microsoft.

40
VSerge 4 days ago 0 replies      
Skype also has a knack for randomly asking you to input a security code that it'll text or call you with, except... When I have recently needed to do it, I got 0 call or text. The email Skype offers to send a code to, in my case, isn't the email associated with the account but some old email that no longer exists (old recovery email I think). So I'm effectively locked out of my account on any new device for the time being, and getting zero feedback when reaching out to customer support. It is a maddeningly bad user experience, and I cannot believe a company like microsoft would let such crippling bugs exist on such widely distributed products.
41
swamplander 5 days ago 0 replies      
Similar hate post coming from me soon. I have an MSA & Office 365 (Azure AD) login using the same email. I use my MSA to login to my Surface, but now, all the sudden, I can't setup Outlook to connect to my O365 email. Their solution: rename your MSA. My response "no freaking way... no telling how much stuff that's going to break as I've used that MSA for over a decade".

And then I read your post today... I'm glad I closed my Surface and went back to my MacBook last night...

Ref: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Outlook/Can-t-connect...

42
caconym_ 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have two or maybe one Microsoft account(s). It's impossible to tell because I seem to have made two accounts that some parts of their systems think are the same, and other parts think are different. My theory is that I was a victim of some sort of migration bug at some point because I have had at least one account for a very long time (probably since Halo 2 for that online multiplayer). This problem makes it impossible to update relevant details on either account, IIRC.

Their support is the worst; they were totally unable to even comprehend the problem I was seeing, let alone fix it. I just gave up trying to use them.

43
shinamee 4 days ago 0 replies      
I should have raised this issue long time ago but why should I do so, after all its not like they're paying me to fix their shits.

I basically moved from Skype to Zoom.us with all my clients

44
tostitos1979 5 days ago 1 reply      
Had to deal with Windows/Skype/Office login issues for a senior. It is insane that people who pirate have an easier time than paying customers.
45
ska 5 days ago 0 replies      
The whole MS account management is a hot mess.

I'm currently dealing with an issue with different versions of the same (MS) software getting authenticated via a domain but ending up pointing at two different MS accounts associated with the same email address, and hence consuming two licenses. 2 weeks of "support" back and forth hasn't helped, they seem to have good tooling to introspect what is happening.

46
bflesch 5 days ago 0 replies      
I was hit by this issue a couple of days ago and suddenly I needed to use my old Skype login but the password of my second microsoft account.
47
Sami_Lehtinen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Outlook doesn't validate email addresses correctly. Their validation is a complete failure. Even # isn't allowed in addresses. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5322#section-3.4
48
jakebasile 5 days ago 1 reply      
Allowing username changes should be basic functionality in any system that has usernames. People change, names change, and so on.
49
kazinator 5 days ago 1 reply      
Skype no longer works on my wife's Windows 7 laptop. The latest update was pushed without being accompanied by the new MSVC DLL's that it needs, and so doesn't start. I haven't been able to install the redistributable run-time separately, and so it is in a foobared state.
50
richev 4 days ago 0 replies      
The real fun starts if you need to change the email address associated with your Microsoft account.

Six months and multiple support calls later and I'm still receiving Azure billing information and Xbox newsletters at the old address.

51
mschuster91 5 days ago 1 reply      
Android still does not support logging in with accounts created by signing in with Facebook, despite dozens of support threads and complaints... in case anyone at MS reads this, it sucks.
52
jondiggsit 5 days ago 0 replies      
I switched my (small) business back to running on Microsoft products like Office 365 and the account issues with my employees are driving me INSANE.
53
StreamBright 5 days ago 0 replies      
I was running into the exact same issue. I am hoping that some product can challenge Skype and replace it entirely. It would be better at this stage.
54
justin66 5 days ago 1 reply      
Merging a work account to a personal account just seems like a stupid thing to do to begin with. No good could have come of this.
55
Kenji 5 days ago 0 replies      
Trust me, the Xbox accounts aren't much better. It is painful. I generally avoid Microsoft accounts like the plague.
56
oregontechninja 5 days ago 0 replies      
I stopped using Skype forever ago, the service just turned to crap. Facebook video calls are easier at this point.
57
lavalampkid 5 days ago 0 replies      
I hope someone out there @ Skype or Microsoft sees this and puts it in front of the right people...
58
BadassFractal 5 days ago 0 replies      
I try to avoid using Skype if I can, it feels unloved, like it's barely hanging together.
59
red023 5 days ago 0 replies      
People: You need to quit your usage of M$ products and services, this is insane.
60
merb 5 days ago 0 replies      
* and Office 365 Business Accounts vs Microsoft Accounts and make all of it linkable.
61
ikeboy 5 days ago 0 replies      
Any good way to search all my Skype chats? Or download complete history to a file?
62
trevyn 5 days ago 1 reply      
Or just stop using Microsoft products? It's been pretty clear to me since about 1985 that other companies make equivalent products that tend to be more powerful and more pleasant to use. Your time and mental state are valuable!
63
dboreham 5 days ago 0 replies      
Mine:

Corporate account, used for Windows logon

Skype personal account

XBox account because they made me make one when my kids were young

A second personal account used for something I forget. Posting on MS help fora possibly.

Mind you I have three active Google accounts.

64
digitalmaster 5 days ago 0 replies      
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
14
Uber gets sued over alleged Hell program to track Lyft drivers techcrunch.com
416 points by indexerror  1 day ago   213 comments top 16
1
sillysaurus3 1 day ago 24 replies      
So, no one was really able to answer my question last thread. In fact, I mostly got snarky condescending replies. I've stopped caring about such things though, so hopefully good-faith questions are still welcome:

What's wrong with Uber tracking Lyft drivers? What is wrong with using a competitor's API to get real-time tactical information about them? Not only did it not harm Lyft drivers, but it actually aided them: Several of them were offered hundreds of dollars by Uber to switch companies. Most drivers are trying to make end's meet, and from speaking directly with drivers, this was seen as a universally positive thing. "I was like, yes! Where do I sign? $400 bucks is amazing. Too bad my car was too old for Uber."

Though I guess if Mr. Gonzales wins his lawsuit, it will give the answer to these questions and more.

2
WhitneyLand 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is something weird about the tactics of Uber execs. I don't think it's all an ethics failure.

A lot of the lying and cheating they do seems like an objectively poor risk/reward proposition and I think many companies would not even get to the ethics question because they would stop when realizing the ideas are stupid when you add up the negatives.

Stealing Google's autonomous auto IP could be a crime that actually moves the needle for the company (if it turns out they are guilty), so I guess they at least had significant upside with that one.

3
dinedal 1 day ago 7 replies      
How does anyone, when asked to build such a program, not raise an objection, or say something?

The ethical compromise made on behalf of all involved is startling, if this is true.

4
fencepost 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure that a Lyft driver suing has as much bad potential for Uber as a class action of former Uber drivers. Given the reported churn there's likely a significant pool of those drivers, and since Uber apparently considers both Lyft and McDonald's as competitors, it seems likely that many of them are not feeling wealthy.

IIRC the previous coverage noted that Uber was providing incentives to drivers who were using both systems, including both bonuses and steering passengers to the both-systems drivers to incentivize them to drop Lyft and only drive for Uber. The corollary of that is that there are a bunch of Uber-only drivers and former drivers who had their incomes hurt by Uber's redirection of profitable fares to 2-system drivers. THAT may be actionable, and a class action of former drivers seems like it wouldn't be that hard to put together.

5
Dangeranger 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a separate lawsuit from Lyft Inc., or is the sole lawsuit originating as a class action filed on the behalf of the driver(s)?

It would seem to me that the Lyft company has the strongest case here against Uber based on a violation of the terms of service for the private API that Uber abused.

If Lyft were successful in their lawsuit, that would lend confidence to a follow-on suit by drivers.

6
misiti3780 1 day ago 2 replies      
Uber lost me as a customer if there are other options. I was in Houston this past weekend and everyone is using Uber, no one using Lyft, etc.

I ended up downloading their app and using it all weekend, and uninstalled it as soon as I got to the airport. I wonder how many other cities are basically exclusively Uber currently ?

7
jansho 1 day ago 5 replies      
One after the other. To put a conspiracy/playful hat on - seriously this is not my serious opinion - could it be that Uber is getting set up? Not necessarily framed but "oops, this just got leaked" set of dominoes. Apparently quite a few people are mad at Uber, like Apple, and Google, and the taxi drivers ...
8
alistproducer2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Uber lost me as a customer a couple months ago. Now we just need some competition for lyft so they don't become the only game in town.
9
dudidi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Can someone here tells me is Uber even trying to fix all the problems? Do they consider any of their controversial strategies morally wrong? Or they're just trying to make everything looks fine?
10
moomin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it just me, or would it save Uber a lot of time if they just got the lawyers to go over discovery in one pass for every project they run?

It might be erm... tantamount to admitting most of your activity is subject to legal challenge but the cost savings would be astronomical.

11
freewizard 1 day ago 3 replies      
From the code name of these projects from Uber: Heaven(God View) / Hell, you can pretty much tell this company thinks it's playing god.

This is terrifying and must be stopped!

12
artursapek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Uber can't seem to stay out of the news.
13
p0nce 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Uber keeps being Uber, a shady investment and value-destroying business.
14
sidcool 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Uber might become the Napster of our times. Although I wish it doesn't happen.
15
nodesocket 1 day ago 2 replies      
It is no coincidence that Techcrunch loves writing negative articles about Uber almost weekly now.... It draws in page views which equals ad revenue from the constantly outraged.
16
david-cako 1 day ago 5 replies      
Uber can't seem to catch a break these days, can they.

Can anyone explain how this is different from Google and Facebook following you around with informatics everywhere you go on the internet? The favicon trick is a pretty good example.

15
A new upstream project to break up Docker into independent components github.com
567 points by lclarkmichalek  5 days ago   305 comments top 16
1
shykes 5 days ago 13 replies      
Hi all, Docker founder here. It appears that the explanation in the pull request is not very clear. Sorry about that. We didn't expect the PR to be the first thing people read: there is a new website at mobyproject.org. Unfortunately Github is struggling under the load, and I can't update the PR text to clarify.

Here is an updated version with some clarifications:

<<<

Docker is transitioning all of its open source collaborations to the Moby project going forward.During the transition, all open source activity should continue as usual.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are a Docker user, this does not change anything. Docker CE continues to exist as a downstream open-source product, with exactly the same interface, packages and release cycle. This change is about the upstream development of the components of Docker, and making that process more open and modular. Moby is not a replacement for Docker: it's a framework to help system engineers build platforms like Docker out of many components. We use Moby to build Docker, but you can use it to build specialized systems other than Docker.

You can learn more at http://mobyproject.org

We are proposing the following list of changes:

- splitting up the engine into more open components- removing the docker UI, SDK etc to keep them in the Docker org- clarifying that the project is not limited to the engine, but to the assembly of all the individual components of the Docker platform- open-source new tools & components which we currently use to assemble the Docker product, but could benefit the community- defining an open, community-centric governance inspired by the Fedora project (a very successful example of balancing the needs of the community with the constraints of the primary corporate sponsor)

>>>

EDIT: I'm happy to answer any follow-up questions here, if it helps clarify.

2
glitcher 5 days ago 3 replies      
Excerpts from mobyproject.org give a much better explanation:

Moby is an open framework created by Docker to assemble specialized container systems without reinventing the wheel. It provides a lego set of dozens of standard components and a framework for assembling them into custom platforms.

Audience

Moby is recommended for anyone who wants to assemble a container-based system, this includes:

Hackers who want to customize or patch their Docker build

System engineers or integrators building a container system

Infrastructure providers looking to adapt existing container systems to their environment

Container enthusiasts who want to experiment with the latest container tech

Open-source developers looking to test their project in a variety of different systems

Anyone curious about Docker internals and how its built

Moby is NOT recommended for:

Application developers looking for an easy way to run their applications in containers. We recommend Docker CE instead.

Enterprise IT and development teams looking for a ready-to-use, commercially supported container platform. We recommend Docker EE instead.

Anyone curious about containers and looking for an easy way to learn. We recommend the docker.com website instead.

3
sandGorgon 5 days ago 1 reply      
@shykes - so im one of the lonely few that love Docker Swarmkit (not Swarm - cos, that would be too confusing right !). I have spent a lot of time in the Kubernetes ecosystem (including several SIG) and value the batteries-included setup that Docker Swarm brings.

More recently, I was part of a discussion where Kubernetes has decided to roll its own logging infrastructure, while leaving important parts like log rotation still undecided.... driving me even closer to the Docker ecosystem.

However, it seems that Swarmkit is a big casualty of the whole CE/EE (and now Moby) split. Docker EE (https://www.docker.com/enterprise-edition) still does not mention Swarmkit anywhere. In fact, there is NO top-level page on Docker's own site that actually mentions Swarmkit [1] and even Docker "Swarm-mode" is part of some second level documentation and help pages.

It makes me really worried about how you are seeing Swarm-mode/Swarmkit as part of the long term future of Docker Inc. You guys really dont talk about it - not even on twitter.

I'm assuming this is your handle as well (https://twitter.com/dockerswarm), which has not seen a tweet since Jan 2017. However, you guys do tweet a lot about "Docker Datacenter".

What's going on ?

[1] https://www.google.co.in/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1...

4
bru 5 days ago 6 replies      
More information can be found there: https://github.com/moby/moby/pull/32691

> Docker is transitioning all of its open source collaborations to the Moby project going forward.

Should I understand that the core team wants to keep the brand "Docker" but use it in a commercial way, while Moby will be the underlying open source code?

Is it Docker/Moby = RHEL/Fedora ? or Docker/Moby = Mongodb.com/Mongodb.org?

5
pi-rat 5 days ago 4 replies      
From comment by @stykes on the pull request:

 Moby = open source development Docker CE = free product release based on Moby Docker EE = commercial product release based on Docker CE. Nothing is dead; and everything that was open-source remains open-source. In fact we are open-sourcing new things.

6
holydude 5 days ago 1 reply      
Why am I having the feeling that Docker Inc is being pissed about everyone making money off docker except Docker Inc. themselves ?

This is not nice.

7
kibwen 5 days ago 2 replies      
Indeed, it seems that github.com/docker/docker now redirects to this. From a technological perspective it's irrelevant, but from a brand management perspective it's baffling. Did they perceive the Docker brand as tainted in some way?
8
yeukhon 5 days ago 5 replies      
This is the one of the worst kind of business decision one can make. But I am not theirCTO and CEO. While not the same as Vagrant being replaced (and then revived because the alternate project was a burden), feels the same shitty decision IMO. Plently of people run successful OSS under the same name. Disappointing.
9
heeey 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is a bait and switch of whale proportions.

Docker used to be the open source part. Now that's being moved out of the way so when you search for Docker you get the paid offerings. The goal is to confuse the people who haven't been following this into thinking Docker is a thing you pay Docker (the company) for.

It's brilliant.

10
wesleytodd 5 days ago 1 reply      
I do not understand the amount of negative feedback on this. It seems logical to me to move the underlying open source components to a separate org from the proprietary stuff. Why the hate?
11
stephenr 5 days ago 3 replies      
What is it with tech companies and fucking terrible name/branding analogies?

Docker. Ok, works with containers I get... wait. Your logo is a WHALE with a bunch of shipping containers on it. You know that whales DISAPPEAR underwater for hours at a time, and shipping containers are NOT MEANT TO DO THAT?

Ok ok maybe it was an honest mistake hey whats this new thing moby.. wait. Whales. Moby. Moby dick? Your project is named after a mythical white whale that sank boats, the very thing that actually carry CONTAINERS.

Having said all that, based on this [1] summary of Docker's usefulness in production from February, maybe both names are absolutely on-point for the reality of this abysmal 'product'.

1. https://thehftguy.com/2017/02/23/docker-in-production-an-upd...

12
tmaly 5 days ago 1 reply      
Why change the name? All the books and posts reference the name Docker.
13
amouat 5 days ago 0 replies      
Personally, I think this a great move for the community, but the reasoning and implications could have been made a little clearer.

The intention is to have a clearer split between the Open Source community project - which is and will always be the heart of Docker (or now Moby) and the "product" pieces. The Docker product itself is not changing at all from an external perspective - you will still call "docker run" as before. However, Docker will be an "assembly" of pieces from the moby project plus some under the docker namespace, probably including "docker/docker-cli". Going forward, this will allow the docker-cli to make more product-centric moves like further Hub integration that would be too controversial for the community moby project. It also allows other organisations to take the moby code and reassemble it in different ways without offending the Docker "product". Furthermore, the intention is that in the long run, various Moby pieces will move to community foundations such as the CNCF and OCI.

14
bauerd 5 days ago 0 replies      
If I read this correctly they split up the Docker repository into several components. The moby repo pulls these together and spits out a build (or many builds?). So for instance one might choose an alternative container runtime to containerd? Then there's an officially supported set of components from which they build Docker CE. But why is Docker now called moby? Doesn't make sense to me.
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_jezell_ 5 days ago 1 reply      
Please rename to Moby Dock instead.
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wnevets 5 days ago 1 reply      
This certainly won't cause any confusion going forward.
16
Survivorship Bias xkcd.com
461 points by rbanffy  4 days ago   222 comments top 27
1
ryandrake 4 days ago 3 replies      
I had a professor who had the class stand up and all start flipping coins. If you flipped tails you sat down and stopped. After several iterations he interviewed the last remaining standing person to ask him what hard work he did to become such a good coin flipper, and if he had any secrets about coin flipping success he wanted to share with the class. It was a pretty nice exercise and I think applicable generally to the hero-worship that often surrounds successful people.
2
ux-app 4 days ago 19 replies      
Most people are missing the point a bit here. Survivorship bias doesn't relate to people who worked hard, improved themselves and now earn 1-10MM/yr. There are loads of stories like that.

Survivorship bias is "Zuck did X, Y and Z, if I do the same then I'll be a multi-billionaire too!"

Following the playbook of those that made it into the top 0.001% is foolish and does not properly account for the large part luck played in their success.

There's no survivorship bias in going to med school, becoming a specialist and then earning 400k/yr.

3
pipio21 4 days ago 10 replies      
Like fear, you should take Survivorship bias into account, but it should not dominate you. If you do you will do nothing in life.

When I created my first company my parents told me about how hard it was going to be, how few succeed... On the contrary I found it was way easier and natural than studying engineering was, for example, and hundreds or thousands of people could do it.

I found most serious people succeed in business. It is not that hard to become a millionaire, way easier than being a salaried person, tens of thousands of times easier than winning a lottery.

On the lottery you have absolutely no control about the outcome, on real life you can "cheat" and control anything.

For example, one of the great discoveries in my life is that in business if you don't know how to do something you can just hire the person to teach you or your team or just do it for you.

That felt like cheating because I had been trained all my years on school and job that you have to do all your job yourself, regardless you being good at it or not.

That control makes it extremely easy to do things. For example you could work with the people you want to work with, that makes your life way easier and enjoyable than if you are externally forced to work with people you don't want to work with.

In the startup world some people want to be billionaires, and that is probably akin to winning the lottery. But I know some billionaires and do not envy them. Traveling everywhere with armed escort because someone could kidnap your children, so you live in a bunker isolated from everyone. Everywhere you go someone wants something from you, a loan , to invest in them. Banks harassing you all the time. Not knowing if people is around you just for your money.

4
TheAlchemist 4 days ago 2 replies      
This one is also great:

http://www.wisdomination.com/what-is-survivorship-bias/

By far, the best explanation I've ever seen !

5
crusso 4 days ago 1 reply      
Yes, working hard is not an absolute determiner of success. It may not even be a majority determiner, depending upon your personal experiences or philosophy as well as the domain in which you're trying to achieve success. Winning the lottery is an absurdly extreme example of one domain where luck is provably a majority determiner. It's funny as a comic, but that domain doesn't really map onto many other career domains where hard work is a lot more important.

One thing is pretty certain, though. Doing nothing at all leads nothing at all. If you don't get up out of bed, eat, do something - you die rather quickly.

If you barely get out of bed to eat, but don't take care of yourself, you limp along through life and probably die early from lack of proper nutrition, exercise, and mental stimulation.

Somewhere along the spectrum from doing absolutely nothing to killing yourself with work is a sweet spot for achieving success. My observation is that the people who succeed spend more time on the side of that spectrum toward working their tails off than on the side of doing nothing.

So yeah, it's a funny comic. It makes a point to remember, but it's definitely not the final word on the value of hard work.

6
ookblah 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is luck an important part of success? Yes, I think we all agree, and probably far more so than we give it credit for. But to hand wave it away is... frustrating.

I've spent enough time in running a business to know that what works for one person may or may not work for another. I too hate the hero worship that surrounds the ultra successful, the whole "follow XYZ steps and you can be a billionaire!" type stuff. You can extrapolate a lot of general guidelines to help you increase your "luck", but nothing is guaranteed. I've seen friends with good plans fail because they couldn't execute, due to things out of their control or things I perceived as in their control. We've weathered some storms through sheer luck and I'm thankful for that.

However, If you're already looking for excuses then you will most likely fail. Every ambition or goal has a cost. If X% of startups or Y% of people who pursue this succeed, there's obviously a luck component to it. But I bet that the vast majority of that subset worked hard anyway and knew what they were getting into. Failure was always a potential outcome.

I get frustrated by everyone who points to anyone who is finding success in something as handwaving away their hard work and pointing to luck and survivorship bias, as if they see through some illusion that nobody else is aware of. That's bullshit. So you know what survivorship bias is? Good for you, now what? Does this affect your life goals in any way? People just play the hand they are dealt and come out better or worse. Nothing more, nothing less.

7
qq66 4 days ago 1 reply      
8
hal9000xp 4 days ago 4 replies      
It's indeed worth to take survivorship bias into account.

But if you put too much emphasis on survivorship bias then you would think that everything is completely random and use "survivorship bias" argument as an excuse to do nothing.

I'm highly recommend to listen Peter Thiel's speech "You are not a lottery ticket":

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

9
tempodox 4 days ago 1 reply      
Humans just seem to be wired for cargo cult. If I make the same mistakes as the one who got unreasonably lucky, I'll end up in the same improbable spot.
10
jimnotgym 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is half the issue, the other half I see in the UK all the time is 'businessmen', who have been set up in a small business by their family money and the old boys network from their expensive school. Whenever you see business networking events they seem to be dominated by these people, or people in property.

I have had a lot of exposure to people 'in property'. People in property are people who had access to capital at the right time. Even worse are those who get to hear about government sell offs or developments which will increase values in an area before the rest of the populace. Then of course there are the money launderers. So I will add flexible morality to my list of traits that make a millionaire.

11
skrebbel 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you like this comic, you'll appreciate Darius Kazemi's talk "How I Won The Lottery".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_F9jxsfGCw

12
swombat 4 days ago 0 replies      
To me, this seems mostly a very justified criticism of many startup advice articles, and the reason why I wrote https://danieltenner.com/2017/03/16/how-to-write-good-startu... a good long while ago...
13
treyfitty 4 days ago 1 reply      
I grew up relatively poor (I think my parents were on welfare at one point, but they would never tell me). I studied hard in college, got a good job afterwards, and now enjoy a very middle class life, which is rare considering my many friends + acquaintances from the same upbringing are struggling. Relatively speaking, I am "successful" all because I studied hard.

The details in between are important in the discourse of luck. Growing up poor, I engaged in a lot of unethical behavior to acquire money. By some miracle, I got admitted into college (albeit a state school), and realizing this miracle, I dedicated my 4 years to pure studying with the belief that good grades -> good job. At the end of junior year, I questioned this logic- I had a 4.0 GPA, yet after 20 interviews, wasn't able to land an internship (which falsely led me to believe I was relegated out of the realm of "success"). Then, I digressed to my former self, and got in trouble with the law. During senior year, after 20 more interviews, couldn't land a full-time offer. Again, by luck, I somehow ended up landing a "prestigious" job. Years later, it was revealed to me that the hiring committee all but unanimously disagreed on my qualifications. One member read my senior thesis in full and, for some inexplicable reason, fought for me, and I ended up receiving 1/40 slots reserved for Ivy League grads.

Whereas the first paragraph suggests hard work pays off, the second paragraph screams "luck." Sometimes, the details are too long, where the key events suffice when giving a description of someone's path. I don't think people are trying to dupe listeners and self inflate their hard work when they make statements like the first paragraph- people just spare the details because it's really not directly relevant to the narrative.

Since my first job, I've interviewed for 70 different roles without success. While I get dejected at times, I understand the role of luck. I don't owe the details- I've earned my right to say I worked hard, but people can, and always do, aid in my luck. Without the awareness of this, I would've given up by now, but I just keep chopping. That's all there is to it when it comes to discussing luck.

14
majani 4 days ago 6 replies      
I believe that success does largely depend on capitalizing on lucky breaks. However, I also believe that each and every one of us gets lucky breaks. What matters is can you spot lucky breaks,and when you do spot them, how do you react? I think it's very possible to train yourself to have the awareness to be able to analyze situations, recognize lucky breaks frequently and just run with them. In a word, you could call this approach "opportunism."
15
infinity0 4 days ago 5 replies      
What else would you do instead? More often than not I see this point abused by lazy or negative people to justify not doing anything useful.

Yes there's survivorship bias, you try to adjust for that, and draw inspiration from the positive parts of the better and more realistic examples.

Just because the system is rigged against you, doesn't mean you shouldn't try to achieve things. Not trying to achieve things is decidedly worse.

16
yhavr 3 days ago 0 replies      
What this bias really tells us that knowledge about failures and how to prevent them is even more important that steps to success.Yes, the world is completely random, and suppose it's like dice throwing. So to maximise your profit, you need to stick to two simple rules: - Make sure that next throw doesn't wipe your out of the game. - Maximize number of attempts per unit of time.

The belief that success is completely luck-based is useless, unless there's a uniform distribution of 'success' over all types of people and their strategies. That is, even if I leave my job now without any verified product, I have the same chances to establish a profitable business, then a guy who already has paying customers.

17
lukego 4 days ago 1 reply      
"Economically, you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years."
18
stdio_h 4 days ago 0 replies      
Just saw this similar comic! http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4283
19
brlewis 4 days ago 0 replies      
The cartoon is good, but the alt text is better.
20
FrankenPC 4 days ago 0 replies      
To me, a lot of success is knowing when to give up and make a tangential change. Many failures I've come across were stubborn people who refused to let it go and try something different. But then again, you might let go and someone else will pick up the ball and make a million. You are back to gambling.
21
mogigoma 4 days ago 0 replies      
That comic strip is similar to the talk Tiny Subversions by Darius Kazemi at the 2014 XOXO Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_F9jxsfGCw
22
synthmeat 4 days ago 0 replies      
There's a typo in mouseover caption - defeatest. Or is it an extra layer of juicy joke I'm not getting?
23
Viz4ps 4 days ago 0 replies      
For every major success story there will be thousands of failures you don't hear about.
24
amai 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does "not surviving" generate a Non-Survivorship Bias ?
25
vog 4 days ago 1 reply      
That's strange. Such a huge discussion here on HN, but very few explaination and discussion on ExplainXKCD:

http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1827

Is this because people prefer discussion threads over collaborating in a wiki, or is this because ExplainXKCD is not as widely known as it should be?

26
skarap 4 days ago 3 replies      
Meta: I can't believe how often xkcd nails it.
27
kebman 4 days ago 1 reply      
Survivorship? Is that the ship that survives? I just call it survivor bias. But then, that's just me. :D
17
Introducing Token tokenbrowser.com
485 points by samscully  4 days ago   152 comments top 24
1
pimlottc 4 days ago 6 replies      
I'm not sure "Browser" is a good term for this; I get that they are trying to convey that it's just a client for the existing independent Etherium network, but to 99% of people, "browser" == "web browser". It's just going to cause confusion, especially in non-technical users (which seems to be a user base they are trying to go for here).

Even as a developer, when I saw "tokenbrowser.com", I was expecting to see a web browser. Visually, it looks more like a chat client (makes sense since they are taking inspiration from WeChat).

2
AroundTheBlock_ 4 days ago 2 replies      
Because it's not immediately clear, this is a project developed by Coinbase, but under its own brand. The demo, which is available on the Apple Store and Google Play store uses TestNet Ether for now.
3
STRML 4 days ago 1 reply      
I like the idea, but this is very confusing to end-consumers:

- Is this just a messaging app? A payments app? A web browser?

- It's all of those things, except not a web browser, it's an "app browser" (why not app store, especially considering the whole point of these is that they are paid?)

- The starting experience is anything but compelling: http://i.imgur.com/U69Gskl.png

- Is this developed by Coinbase? If so, why is there no mention, and the app is developed by "Bluxome Labs"?

4
aaron-lebo 4 days ago 3 replies      
I would find your pitch much more interesting if you didn't go from "look at this very cool technology" to "look how we're changing the world for the better for these poor people in Africa".

Be realistic. How many Sub-Saharan Africans are using Token or working on it right now? You're first-world devs working on first-world tech and wrapping it up in humanitarian terms because it makes you more attractive.

It's kind of exploitative. It's all about money at the end of the day, isn't it?

I apologize for the rant. Just had a semester of classes on faith and development and law and development and this stuff is often very complex and a type of unintentional colonialism often runs through it.

"Hey, check out these people! Check out how much they need our help! Wouldn't things be so much better if we did X for them?"

In many cases, yes, but in a lot of ways it is impossible for people who aren't on the ground to properly understand culture, context, and needs. Does the team have anyone on the ground? Is this informed by research on the topic? From a less critical perspective, a portion of the site dedicated to such research (and thus informing the goals) would be really cool and useful.

5
cordite 4 days ago 1 reply      
Aside from the app, and what it can facilitate, I find chat UIs to be a zone for invention. Here Token partially formalized the UI [1] for menus and the like. As it is with Telegram for example, you provide a "keyboard" of a grid of buttons to press, similar to SOFA each button has a value. However Telegram does not have menus, so general purpose bots need a lot of back and forth to refine what the user's intention is.With SOFA, it seems to be one payload with nested options that do not need to be committed in order to explore what options there are, reducing concerns for connectivity requirements just to find out what they can do.

[1]: https://www.sofaprotocol.org

6
zimzim 4 days ago 3 replies      
living in Zimbabwe now, there a severe shortage of cash, Im hoping a project like this one will catch one day.good luck
7
joeblau 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just heard an interesting talk about this on the Bitcoin Podcast[1] a few days ago. They have some inserting ideas around being able to democratize startup stage investing.

[1] - http://thebitcoinpodcast.com/episode-120/

8
fabiosussetto 4 days ago 1 reply      
Are they using some implementation of the Ethereum light client protocol? Last time I checked it wasn't available yet: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Light-client-protocol

If they are using the standard protocol then how do they connect to the Ethereum network? Do they use their servers as proxy to the network? Because if it's so, that would defeat the whole point to me.

9
camjohnson26 4 days ago 1 reply      
What can you actually do with this, other than chat and send payments? There's only 2 apps in the recommended section and they're both basic.
10
argentinaIT 4 days ago 2 replies      
Is this supposed to be a UI for end users of smart contracts? Are smart contracts widely deployed in production yet? Or just b2bexperiments experiments ?
11
wslh 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think the token economy will growth and growth. We can expect good and really bad news because anyone can participate.

My company is receiving many inquiries oriented to managing funds and trading. Also, In the context of YC Startup School we are building an API for multiple cryptocurrencies, tokens, and smart contracts. We are even disassembling smart contracts to gather more metrics about the blockchain usage. If you are interested on using it instead of building your own infrastructure please contact me via my company page.

12
627467 4 days ago 0 replies      
Token's client is a lot faster (and much less buggy) than status.im.
13
alkonaut 4 days ago 1 reply      
This would be a huge thing in places where there isn't a good free bank account-to-bank account money transfer app. which I assume is why facebook is also eyeing such things.
14
_pdp_ 4 days ago 4 replies      
Maybe I am not getting it but ethereum is way to complex to make it successful - and because it is decentralised it looks deeply fragmented. As I said, I am probably not getting it.
15
fiatjaf 4 days ago 0 replies      
See also Status, which is very very similar and open-source: https://status.im/
16
ksahin 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is huge ! So many new Ethereum project out there : Token, Status.im, Augur, Golem, Aragon ... It's amazing to see such an ecosystem growing so fast.
17
Perignon 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'll bite. Why do I need this?
18
ankitgupta191 4 days ago 0 replies      
I tried using it. It works like a charm. May be I felt good because I have been following the Ethereum ecosystem. I am fine if someone would have felt otherwise.
19
j_s 3 days ago 0 replies      
I asked the first time this was mentioned on the Status thread:

Is this an end run around Apple's 30% of IAP?

20
jerf 4 days ago 0 replies      
Is reputation a single number associated with an identity, or is there a network element to it?
21
valarauca1 4 days ago 4 replies      
Yo can I get a copy of the Apps source code?

Open Whisper Systems source is GPLv3.

22
computerwizard 4 days ago 0 replies      
Did anyone else register a bunch of 'leet' usernames?

I wonder if they will reset the usernames when it gets put on livenet because it kind of seems unfair.

23
bhouston 4 days ago 2 replies      
Who sends tips like that? Hopefully there are better use cases.
24
bflesch 4 days ago 0 replies      
I applaud the effort the coinbase team has put into this project. Yet I'm sceptical if this will be the breakthrough for cryptocurrencies.
18
Uber CEO Plays with Fire nytimes.com
552 points by bmahmood  2 days ago   489 comments top 2
1
ErikAugust 2 days ago 13 replies      
Buried lede here:

"They spent much of their energy one-upping rivals like Lyft. Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyfts business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)"

2
pdog 2 days ago 12 replies      
From the article, explained:

At the time, Uber was dealing with widespread account fraud in places like China, where tricksters bought stolen iPhones that were erased of their memory and resold. Some Uber drivers there would then create dozens of fake email addresses to sign up for new Uber rider accounts attached to each phone, and request rides from those phones, which they would then accept. Since Uber was handing out incentives to drivers to take more rides, the drivers could earn more money this way.

To halt the activity, Uber engineers assigned a persistent identity to iPhones with a small piece of code, a practice called fingerprinting. Uber could then identify an iPhone and prevent itself from being fooled even after the device was erased of its contents.

19
McDonald's Real Estate: How They Really Make Their Money (2015) wallstreetsurvivor.com
468 points by neop  5 days ago   256 comments top 32
1
fraserharris 5 days ago 3 replies      
An important point about owning the franchise real estate: a rental agreement is far stronger for the landowner than a franchise agreement is for a franchiser. The McDonald's franchise agreement specifies the address the franchise must be located. In effect, McDonald's can cancel a franchise agreement by ending the rental agreement. This gives them enormous power to enforce company-wide standards on cleanliness and mandate suppliers. Other chains (eg: Burger King) do not own the majority of their franchise properties and have had more significant problems with enforcing franchise standards.

Source: McDonald's: Behind The Arches, John F. Love (July 1, 1995)

Edit: changed ie to eg, thanks for the correction all

2
elevensies 5 days ago 4 replies      
What impresses me most about McDonald's is the highly effective and efficient incentive structure. You have the franchise owner who is very committed financially and can make a high income, plus lots of low cost labor following a very precise process. And they seem to be able to replicate it at almost any scale.

What impresses me least about McDonald's is their ruthless child-targeted advertising.

EDIT: in sort of a quaint way the incentive structure is reminiscent of the manorial system.

3
kjhughes 5 days ago 3 replies      
Watch The Founder,

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276820/

for an entertaining and educational dramatization of the McDonald's story, including the franchising and real estate leasing aspects.

4
geophile 4 days ago 2 replies      
The Founder is a movie that tells the story of the birth and growth of McDonald's (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_founder/), and it covers much of the ground covered in this article.

In addition to being a very well-done movie, it does a superb job of describing the relationship between the visionary founders of a startup, and the sales guys and bean counters who turn it into a successful business. It doesn't matter that the McDonald brothers were revolutionizing burgers, the telling of this part of the story captures perfectly the same sort of activity that goes on at any startup with a new idea, (emphasis on new). It also captures very well how the suits recognize a good thing when they see it, buy into the vision (but for very different reasons from the founders), and finally take over and render the founders obsolete.

Really great movie for anyone involved with startups.

5
WalterBright 5 days ago 3 replies      
It was an eye-opener for me when I was a teen and bought a gallon of soft drink syrup from a McDonald's for use at a party. It worked out to about 5 cents a cup for the drink in a soft drink, which sold for 75 cents (if I remember correctly). McDonald's doesn't make money selling burgers, they make money selling the soft drinks and the fries.

The same goes for any restaurant, it's why they ply you for drinks.

6
vuln 5 days ago 1 reply      
Kind of OT but the company I work for has more locations than McDonalds, and Walmart. Not combined but separate. Which baffles me. When I first started here I never knew what went into a retail store, from architecture, construction, store layout, buying, merchandising, it's insane... We call our headquarters the 'Store Support Center' because our mission is to support all 16,000 if our stores nationwide and a few in Canada.
7
cperciva 5 days ago 2 replies      
Misleading. Sure, technically McDonald's doesn't make much money from selling burgers because most of the burgers are sold by franchisees. But by the same argument, Amazon doesn't make any money from selling EC2 instances -- those are sold by Amazon Web Services Inc.

When people talk about McDonald's "selling burgers", what they mean is McDonald's and its franchisees.

8
kaypro 5 days ago 1 reply      
I just watched "The Founder" last night. I had always assumed Ray Kroc was the genius who pivoted to focusing on real estate for their expanding franchise model when really it was Harry J. Sonneborn who convinced Ray that was the way to go. Worth a watch.
9
TheGRS 5 days ago 1 reply      
Well now I'm pretty curious, how does McDonald's operate all of their distribution channels with the whole franchise/renting model? Most of the Micky D's I've seen have tons of freezer food that they put through various machines to make all of the food items quickly. I can't imagine they let owners get their primary products from anything other than a distribution center. Do the owners need to buy those products separately? Can they buy from alternate distributors? Do they franchise their distribution somehow? Maybe I'm overthinking all of this. But I am genuinely curious how that factors into the franchise model since that means McDonalds is still very liable for food production.
10
resalisbury 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the core arguments of article is misleading, since it claims McDonald's is a real estate company based on the share of Net Income coming from owned versus franchised restaurants. The share of Net Income is a misleading comparison, because (1)it fails to account for the cost of capital associated in owning real estate(2) over 85% of McDonalds are franchised, the remaining 15% produce all of that income, so even on this misleading basis of just considering net income, the profits are more balanced than the article makes it appear.

- percent franchised vs owned https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/04/03/what-perce...

- quote from article that is misleading"Of that $18.2 billion generated by company-operated stores in 2014, the corporation keeps just $2.9 billion. Of the $9.2 billion coming from franchisees, the corporation keeps $7.6 billion."

11
gist 5 days ago 0 replies      
This has been well know for a long time. However the fact is the only reason that McDonalds is able to collect rent (in the dollar amount that they do) is if their product and service, the franchise, is able to sell hamburgers to customers. As such the value of the real estate (if the franchise fails to operate) is nowhere near what it is with a profitable operating restaurant. While the locations are valuable if you have ever seen a vacant McDonalds, and who typically rents those, you will know that the rent received and royalties is nowhere near what it is with a McDonalds restaurant.

So I think it's a bit misleading and hyperbole to say 'how they really make money'. The only reason the can make that money is because of the product and the customer base that patronizes the McDonalds. So in the end it is because of the product. "How they really make their money" is because of that product.

12
Reason077 5 days ago 1 reply      
McDonald's business model of renting premises to their franchisees sounds similar to the way many pubs are operated in the UK.

Breweries (and "PubCo's") typically own the premises, which is leased to a tenant (publican) who is required to purchase the brewery's products.

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

13
HenryBemis 5 days ago 1 reply      
I remember watching a documentary a few years back where Ronald was talking to some uni grads telling them that in reality he's one of the largest real estate owners globally since the trend is to OWN the space they occupy and not just rent.

Well, if one thinks of how many of these burger joints..

And yes the burgers also make some good money ;)

14
FrankenPC 5 days ago 1 reply      
20 years ago when I did some consulting for the Gap, I saw inside their data systems and realized they were a large real estate organization. It was the first time I witnessed the dynamic nature of corporate America.
15
dboreham 5 days ago 3 replies      
"Retail-as-Real-Estate" plays don't always work. e.g. Sears, KMart.
16
temp246810 5 days ago 2 replies      
Off topic: I've trained myself to look for a McDonald's first when in a pinch and need coffee. This vs looking for a Pete's or a Starbucks.

If all you need is a basic drink, they get it more or less right for several hundreds of a percent lower.

17
stcredzero 5 days ago 1 reply      
If you're ever at a meetup, and the presenter dances around the question: "How does your company make money?" then ask yourself, is it possible that this company is in marketing/advertising? More generally, ask yourself: Does this company's operations give it high quality information about a particular market?

The takeaway: Don't dismiss a useful service that you can't directly monetize. It's possible that you can gain high-quality information which can be monetized indirectly. It's all about getting better information about a particular market than everyone else.

18
robbrown451 5 days ago 1 reply      
Sure, but the burgers are a critical component of the whole picture.

It's almost like saying that grocery stores are not really in the grocery business, they are in the business of accepting cash and credit card payments. True, that's where they "make their money", but that business would dry up pretty quick if they didn't stock groceries.

19
NicoJuicy 5 days ago 0 replies      
The site is getting slow, so here you go : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://...
20
Dagwoodie 4 days ago 0 replies      
I heard a professor tell a story about the founder of McDonalds going to a business class as a guest. He asked the students "What business am I in? Can anyone tell me?" and they all laughed, "why hamburgers of course". Then he corrected them. They're not just in real estate but they are very, very good at selecting franchise locations. The professor also claimed that Burger King's primary consideration on where to put their stores is the relative distance to McDonalds.
21
anothercomment 4 days ago 0 replies      
I thought about this recently when a new cafe opened up in a prime location (replacing another cafe). The rent must be enormous, and it occurred to me that no matter how good or efficient the cafe operates, the rent will probably simply rise until the cafe is merely earning at average market rates.

I found that rather depressing. All those people struggling to improve their business are merely struggling to increase the income of the property owner. (I guess if I had the money and inspiration to become a property owner it would be less depressing).

22
tim333 4 days ago 0 replies      
>During the 2008 recession, McDonalds leaned heavily on this facet of their business as they capitalized on an anemic property market buying up more of the land and buildings where it operates.

I think a lot of why real estate works for them is that the business is not affected by recessions - they may even sell more burgers if people can't afford fancy places. So they can buy real estate cheap when others can't.

23
mathattack 4 days ago 0 replies      
This doesn't preclude McDonalds from holding risk. For a long time people said "Buy Kmart and Sears because the value of their real estate is more than their stock values." Then the real estate market tanks.... Real estate is an illiquid investment.

Also - when people choose to eat less burgers, or there is less innovation in the menu, the stock price dips.

24
csours 5 days ago 0 replies      
25
emiliobumachar 4 days ago 2 replies      
"They used to hold the promise of good fast-food but now the food is neither fast, nor good. In fact, in 2014, the average drive-thru wait time was over three minutes (the longest it has ever been in about 15 years)."

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

I know it's a serious worry, but seems like one of those good problems to have.

26
towndrunk 5 days ago 0 replies      
27
sjg007 5 days ago 0 replies      
Many times I get cold and cardboard crispy chickens. It sucks. And 99% of the time it's from the drive thru..

I've been to multiple understaffed McDonald's and man does the quality suck. When they have staff things are decent but now I can predict when a McDonald's will be bad.

28
djulius 5 days ago 0 replies      
Already seen in "rich dad poor dad" 20 years ago !
29
pjc50 5 days ago 1 reply      
Same was true for Tesco for a while - they did very well on land speculation.
30
ThomaszKrueger 5 days ago 1 reply      
Another one is Wawa. They seem to be everywhere now.
31
hiroshid 5 days ago 0 replies      
There is a danger here.McDonald's system = Windows

Franchisees = OEMs

Franchisees not doing their best = laptop filled with crapware

32
lbsnake7 5 days ago 2 replies      
This is somewhat false. McDonalds amassed all of this real estate during the normal course of doing its main business. It would be like saying Walmart is in the shelf business because they have a lot of shelves. If amassing large amounts of real estate is the end goal, selling burgers for 50 years is probably not the best way to do it. I think McDonalds fears that if it spins off its real estate holdings, those properties will have no loyalty to McDonalds and could become a Starbucks or whatever. The value that McDonalds provides is that it is everywhere and at low prices. If it isn't everywhere, then it can't provide low prices and the whole thing crumbles.
20
Me and SVG codepen.io
506 points by bootload  5 days ago   223 comments top 38
1
bdrool 5 days ago 5 replies      
It really makes me sad to read the part about counting pennies and having to stretch such tiny advances while writing the books, especially when she describes her frustration at how much a framed copy that was sent by the publisher must have cost, compared to her frugal situation. It is a shame that writing down useful knowledge in a clear way is not better rewarded.
2
bisRepetita 5 days ago 1 reply      
I want to be a journalist=>I can't travel =>graphics can be my niche =>SVG is interesting =>this competition is for me =>I fail stupidly =>I blog and show my stuff =>This book needs serious help, I am not counting my time =>Oh oh, i am a published author, this is weird =>I worked so hard, 5 books! =>Expert on W3C commitee =>Seriously, I am THE freaking expert in this field!!=>More hard work, a lot =>Oh shit, people are not interested in this stuff anymore =>What am I doing with my life????

This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing so well.

3
dahart 5 days ago 6 replies      
It bums me out to hear SVG is in such limbo, I've been looking forward to SVG 1.2 support. It seems to be taking a long time, I guess this is why.

It's strange because I know many many companies are using SVG at least a bit for their sites. Maybe it's simmering just under the threshold where it seems necessary to have to do business, but so many sites would be hosed if SVG suddenly went away.

Is part of the problem authoring tools? Every time I need to make some SVG by hand, I look around and keep coming back to Inkscape and Illustrator. I can't afford Illustrator, and Inkscape has just never stuck for me, it feels very clunky. I've used lots of the other tools out there but nothing seems great.

4
JepZ 4 days ago 2 replies      
I think we (the web) chronically underestimate the importance of SVG. I mean we all use pixel graphics (JPG, PNG, GIF) every day, build services to scale images and have multiple formats for them have to admit, that they are not 100% perfect most of the time.

SVG, on the other hand, doesn't need 5 different versions of the same image just to look okay on the receiving display. Even more, it always has 100% quality on the receiving device. As far as I am concerned, there are only two main problems with SVG:

1. The creation is painful

2. The renderer compatibility is too weak.

While creation problem has many layers, I think one thing that could be improved is Inkscape usability. I spend the last months every now and then to learn to handle Inkscape and the first steps were so painful (and I knew what SVG is and was quite able to handle Gimp). I am sure if some usability experts would be involved in its development, many things would be implemented differently. And I really hope, someone will change that as Inkscape is such a powerful tool which should be quite accessible to the majority of users.

Regarding the render compatibility, I think it is very important to fix that in the near future. I have high hopes that SVG2 will help here, but I think it is also our job as the web community to show the browser vendors, that we want that fixed version of SVG.

5
danso 4 days ago 2 replies      
The description of amount of work the author produced, including for the SVG 2 spec, reads like the CV of someone who has been with W3C since 1999 (which is when W3C first started working on SVG according to Wikipedia). It's stunning that the author only started self-learning web dev basics just 3.5 years ago. Whatever she decides to do with SVG, I hope she can easily land a job in the field despite her requirements to do remote work. She clearly has the technical chops, communication skills, and perseverance that tech companies value.
6
Arathorn 5 days ago 2 replies      
SVG always reminds me of JS - a seemingly overcomplicated and slightly ungainly technology that actually just turned out to be ahead of its time.

Back in the bad old days when you had to install the Adobe plugin to view it at all, it was almost useless. But nowadays, almost all browsers have more than adequate native support and it turns out that it's actually very useful as a good way of doing declarative vector graphics (as opposed to the immediate mode world of Canvas). I switched to using SVG for all artwork in my apps about 2 years ago and haven't looked back once - there are no performance issues; I can retheme them via CSS (if loaded as objects rathe than imgs), they look perfect on arbitrary resolution displays, plus animation is trivial when desired. Meanwhile libraries like D3 show just how powerful and performant SVG can be.

So: given a choice between a custom library which implements some kind of vector DOM on top of canvas, and having it baked into the native DOM of the browser with decent performance, I know which I'd rather have.

The biggest problem I've seen in practice is when handling user generated SVGs - the risk of vulnerabilities in the implementations; XSS attacks - and design flaws like billion lol attacks. But such are the risks of using an expressive language like HTML, SVG, or heaven forbid postscript or PDF :)

7
mxfh 5 days ago 1 reply      
The core of the problem to me, seems to be the absence of a widely supported declarative low level 2D vector format to compile to, likely with closed arced paths* as only vector primitives. (Point and Lines are 0 and 1 dimensional and need to constructed anyway for display)

Full SVG just seems too high level to be implemented universally, especially when sent in some form to a GPU for parallel evaluation.

Now have a moment of silence for OpenVGhttps://www.khronos.org/openvg/

Yet there is hope:

http://w3.impa.br/~diego/projects/GanEtAl14/

https://graphics.cs.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/svgpu.p...

https://developer.nvidia.com/nv-path-rendering

* hopefully compatible with Path2D API https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Path2D/Path...

8
jancsika 5 days ago 8 replies      
So here's a question:

JSON is to XML what ___ is to SVG. What is in the blank?

There's just so much complexity in even the 1.1 spec.

Patterns, for example, are given the default of specifying the width and height of the area to be repeated in objectBoundingBox units. But the arbitrarily complex content has its units defined in terms of the userspace units derived from the context in which the pattern itself is used.

Now, if you play around with patterns for a bit you can certainly figure out the logic of those defaults. Most likely the author doesn't want the aspect ratio of the pattern content to change based on the width/height specified for the pattern viewbox. Hence patternContentUnits defaults to "userSpaceOnUse". On the other hand, the author likely wants to control the total number of columns/rows that will be displayed. Hence patternUnits defaults to "objectBoundingBox", where you can do the math for 1/width for rows and 1/height for columns.

But then when you try to do actual work using those defaults-- say, filling a rectangle with a pattern that displays four small circles as "nails" in the corners of the rectangle-- it doesn't work. The patternUnits attribute isn't expressive enough to let you specify a way to attach each pattern iteration to a corner of the shape. You can achieve that for a particular bounding box, but it isn't easy. So the logical though complex default isn't particularly expressive in practice, and the more sane, less expressive way to do patterns requires non-default attributes.

I run into similar such problems with many of the SVG 1.1 features. There's an incredible amount of complexity, but not a matching amount of expressivity gained for it. Even something like grabbing or setting a value for height/width/x/y is made more complex because the DOM is storing both a base value and an additional value should the user happen to have specified declarative animation on the element. But then declarative animation isn't implemented in all browsers after all this time-- nor is it as easy to work with as the burgeoning web animations API.

9
__s 5 days ago 1 reply      
I empathize. I feel like my work in implementing insurance programs & payday loan portals is of low value to society, yet it pays the bills. Meanwhile I'd much rather focus fully on my project to implement a WASM jit for Lua. That has future potential alone due to WASM unicorns wanting to open up to being useful as a JIT target

Sort of flies in the face of people thinking basic income will result in a bunch of stay at home drunks

SVG is cool. Was really wanting SVG2 as in order to get wordwrap I'm embedding HTML into the SVG which I'm embedding in HTML. openEtG uses SVG as an alternate backend to cards/deck rendering (as opposed to <canvas>)

Deck SVG: http://etg.dek.im/deck/047130c6qq016u1036u30177o0177g027aq02...

Card SVG: http://etg.dek.im/card/56f.svg

There's some issues in rendering interacting with the page's CSS. The card back is rendered off a spritesheet, in the SVG I just offset it so that the rest of the image is clipped away

Code: https://github.com/serprex/openEtG/blob/master/svg.js

If this seems off topic.. well I'm bad at being personal, & in response to a personal blogpost, this is how I make a personal response

I was hoping to try get remote work with https://bocoup.com but unfortunately I'm also Canadian & they're not open to being that remote. But I'm just some guy who made an open source HTML5 CCG. Maybe they'd take closer consideration of you. Granted I open with a salary of 25k CAD, don't know what you consider making due

10
Safety1stClyde 5 days ago 2 replies      
SVG is a good example of an overflexible, overcomplex standard with too much variety, too many options, too many different ways to do the same thing. The huge flexibility makes it almost impossible to correctly and fully implement.

I'm not sure how it got this way, but it seems to be connected to the W3 consortium, which has many other instances of creating exceedingly complex, difficult-to-implement standards.

11
chrisgannon 4 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who is pushing what SVG can do in terms of interactivity and animation I am saddened to see such a hard working and talented person person like Amelia struggling like this. She has helped me on numerous occasion with various issues over the years and her knowledge of SVG and its quirks and foibles is extensive.

If anyone is questioning the relevance or flexibility of SVG or its ease of use check my CodePen stuff - with a library like Greensock you can do almost anything with SVG http://codepen.io/chrisgannon/

12
wei_jok 5 days ago 0 replies      
Don't give up. SVG is a beautiful format for the web. People can see the difference in quality.
13
guelo 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm about 20 years into my career and what I would tell her is that I've become an expert in and forgotten more technologies then I can remember. But it's not a waste of time, somehow things from 20 years ago that seem like completely useless knowledge still popup once in a while and inform my decisions and make me a better engineer overall.
14
shriphani 5 days ago 1 reply      
I don't have advice for you but I just want to say this is a stunning body of work - congratulations.
15
intrasight 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have been both super excited and super disappointed with SVG for about fifteen years now. I too came into it as a dataviz practitioner. Ten years ago I did a project where I generated system status diagrams directly out of SQL Server using XSLT and SVG embedded into the engine. More recently my interest has been resurrected since Power BI uses SVG and D3 for custom visualizations. But the luke-warm browser support has always been discouraging. Same with XSLT. And I guess all things with angle brackets these days.
16
sitkack 4 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and the W3C should be paying this woman.
17
franze 5 days ago 0 replies      
I was (aiming to become) an SVG ninja around 2006 (the first coming of SVG in the browser), coded stuff like http://web.archive.org/web/20070630201408/http://www.fragmen... ( a kinda LOGO implementation in SVG) - you needed the adobe SVG viewer plugin for IE at that time to use it. (don't look at the code, it was 2006!!!!)).

at one point I decided to stop my quest, mostly because

a) horrible buggy browser support at that time

b) the limitation and clunkiness of the format (it's XMLish after all)

so basically nowadays: same, same but different!

nowadays still use exported SVG for icons and logos of course, cause filesize.

18
a-guest 4 days ago 0 replies      
I suspect it is possible you would be able to monetize your SVG experience in a more profitable way than an O'Reilly book by authoring an online course(s) for vendors like Pluralsight, Frontend Masters, or similar companies?
19
tannhaeuser 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've benefitted numerous times from AmeliaBB's answers on StackOverflow/StackExchange and Sitepoint, and am really happy for the opportunity to thank her very much for her work. Her authoritative answers really stand out, and show a level of depth and comittment to the subject like few others. Her book is now high an my reading list.

There's definitely something wrong with funding of web standardization work (or lack thereof) though, that needs to be brought to public attention. The WHATWG/W3C situation is unsustainable IMO.

20
hutzlibu 5 days ago 1 reply      
"But I hate working with broken tools.

Do I keep trying to fix it, or do I throw it away?"

At some point, I think we need a redesign for vectorgraphics on the web from scratch, as I don't think SVG can really be "fixed" - it is just too complex and weird in the base.

But I guess no one is willing to spend much money on that right now, after the core of svg finally works (mostly).And since it is there right now and working, it won't go away so fast, as there is no alternative - yet.

So I would keep working with it, but maybe start to collect and share ideas on how to do things nicely from scratch ...

21
staz 5 days ago 1 reply      
If companies have to pay the W3C and the W3C don't pays spec editors such as her; where does that money go?
22
devwastaken 4 days ago 0 replies      
One thing that could be done by somebody who knows the standard /really/ well, is a proper SVG sanitizer/conformity enforcer. SVG is powerful, even in its basic abilities, but all of the projects I've seen so far have no guarantees of security or safe parsing. Its probably too niche currently, probably only really useful for things like Mediawiki. But, I think having the ability for users to upload .svg's like normal images onto sites would catch on pretty quick.
23
scandox 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why don't most programmers buy programming books? Why doesn't the technology industry have more respect for the foundational, vocational work being done that supports it?

It's the Market I hear you cry. I'm damn tired of hearing that cop out. Maybe you really believe it. Well that doesn't mean you don't have to take responsibility.

These people support our money earning work every day. We need to find ways to force our employers to put a value on that.

24
smrtinsert 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's tough. I think the appetite for SVG might have dissipated a bit since devices properly scale and use alternatives such as canvas offer better performance.
25
Kinnard 5 days ago 0 replies      
I bet a hackathon would do a ton of good for the SVG Ecosystem.

The social/community/ecosystem aspect of programming technologies should not be neglected/ignored.

26
ensiferum 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's sad to hear that the author has had such a financially hard time while working on those things. But the thing is that those books are not best sellers. There are like 10 ppl in the world interested in SVG.

I'm sorry to say but also committing to a large chunks of work without any contract for payment?? I can understand that you'd do it if you really a) wanted to do it b) wanted the "fame" or the admiration of your peers but to continue to work on while the teams around you are falling apart and not giving a shit is just pointless. Maybe she wasn't able to read the state of the project very well.

Anyway author if you read this, I'd say just scrap the SVG for now and pursue other paths. You can always go back to it if interest towards SVG takes off again.

27
Sophistifunk 5 days ago 0 replies      
FXG was much nicer.

Boy howdy do I wish Adobe hadn't mismanaged Flash and Flex so badly they killed them. If they'd gone more open, fixed performance issues on non-Windows platforms, and actually followed through on the Tamarin gesture we'd all be in a happier place.

28
taivare 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have asked my local library to order her SVG Essentials book & they did. I have checked an people are taking it out and since then they have ordered other SVG books.
29
j45 4 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks to the author for all their work. SVG is becoming a little more connected to some of the work I'm doing and I'm hoping a way can come up for her to be supported to continue her work if she loves it. Someone who supports a technology this selflessly a few years ahead of those who will come to need it.
30
stefek99 4 days ago 0 replies      
Holy crap.

I've read the first 30% of the article - you are clearly the expert.

Then fast forward to the end: "if only I could figure out a way to make them pay"

Chronic fatigue (medical condition) is an issue and there should be a way to work around that...

Independent, remote work, creating infographics and visualisations for media outlets - that's a pretty large niche!

31
bdahz 4 days ago 0 replies      
VPaint[1] is a research vector graphics editor (from SIGGRAPH 2015) that has higher-level semantics of vector graphics editting. And it claimed more efficiency to create vector graphics. May it be the hope to fix problems of SVG you guys mentioned?

[1] http://www.vpaint.org/

32
Animats 4 days ago 1 reply      
There are at least three ways to draw in browsers now - a canvas object, WebGL, and SVG. Apparently SVG is losing out for that application.

As a common representation for draw programs, SVG is quite useful. But apparently it accumulated way too many features, and SVG 2, this author says, was an solution to a non-problem.

33
bootload 5 days ago 1 reply      
"I am torn: I have invested this much of my life into SVG. Do I build on that? Or do I write it off and start afresh with lessons learned and no regrets?"

What product needs to built that harnesses SVG?

34
adultSwim 4 days ago 0 replies      
Many of the reactions in this thread are discouraging. I wonder if HN is a community worth investing in.
35
auggierose 5 days ago 1 reply      
If you write a spec, you should also implement a proof of concept.
36
staz 5 days ago 0 replies      
If compagnies have to
37
nickstefan12 4 days ago 0 replies      
> But I never cared about SVG itself. It's just a tool. I cared about what I could build with it.

I'm calling BS on that last statement of hers. I don't intend for this to sound mean. I intend for it to help her (or readers), to be honest with themselves. It WOULD be sad if she wasted all this time on SVG if she really would have rather just been building stuff with SVG. However, that to me doesnt reflect reality; so it shouldn't make her sad. She got to spend time doing what she clearly actually likes doing: technical writing! Theres nothing wrong with that!

No one who actually likes to build stuff would spend so much time on committees, book deals, and technical writing. Thats okay! She should be honest with herself about her preferences.

The positives are that "committees, book deals and technical writing" are very transferable skills to whatever other web technology needs more of this sort of thing.

EDIT: I in no way mean for this to be callous regarding counting pennies. I am sympathetic to the fact that much of her work was unpaid :(

38
iamleppert 5 days ago 5 replies      
I'm sorry but does anyone find the following bit of code readable?

<svg class="defs-only"> <filter id="duotone" color-interpolation-filters="sRGB" x="0" y="0" height="100%" width="100%"> <feColorMatrix type="matrix" values="0.90 0 0 0 0.40 0.95 0 0 0 -0.10 -0.20 0 0 0 0.65 0 0 0 1 0" /> </filter></svg>

SVG is a horrible way to do graphics, and not a good vector format due to its complexity. It's also difficult to get good performance, you'll eventually end up implementing stuff at a lower layer when SVG itself becomes a bottle-neck, and it has tons of cross-platform bugs that require endless debugging.

The crux of the matter is vectors are drawings, and may or may not have a hierarchical representation. It would be a lot better abstracted by a real language, using a primitive drawing API that allows you set debugger statements and the like to inspect state, variables, etc.

21
Painting with Code: Introducing our new open source library React Sketch.app airbnb.design
523 points by pouwerkerk  8 hours ago   66 comments top 15
1
mshenfield 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Basically, people:

Design a set of re-usable components in Sketch that get turned into JavaScript widgets and used in a product

The JavaScript widgets are are modified, extended, and changed. Maybe a line here, a color here. Designers now sometimes have component designs dont quite match what they look like in the wild

This tool now lets them re-create the Sketch file from the components as the look in the wild. That means when designers work on whole pages, made up of widgets, theyll look exactly like they would in the wild.

2
jongold 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Hi HN!

Super excited to open source this I'm trying my best to bring design & engineering closer together at Airbnb (and in the world), this has been a super useful project.

I'll be hanging out in this thread all day if you have any questions / want to flame me :)

3
thebouv 7 hours ago 3 replies      
So, to be clear, a month ago there was an announcement about an app called Sketch (renamed to Snack now apparently) that was a playground for React code, but people said it was a bad name choice because Sketch is already a ui/ux dev/design tool in this space.

But this tool is related to that ui/ux version of Sketch (but with/for React), and not the mis-named Sketch (that was for React)?

Naming is fun.

4
vladgur 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Jon was gracious enough to visit us at CollectiveHealth to describe their DLS processes as well as give us a glimpse of what was coming.

Design Systems and related tooling makes total sense at certain scale and I can definitely see both designer and developer efficiency gains from consistent building blocks that Design Systems provide.Jon I'm curious if this would still make sense if AirBnB weren't so invested in React and React Native.

5
udkl 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Do I understand the use-case correctly ? :

1) Create designs in sketch (mainly core components)

2) Code those designs in React that will generate the React translated version of the sketch

3) Use the react generated sketch to build non-core component designs in sketch..

4) When the core design changes, update the react component to match the new designs

5) All the other components in the sketch will automatically start using the new updated sketch component

6
ziikutv 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
The website slows down my chrome browser to the point where it lags and I have to backout.
7
FanaHOVA 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This will come really handy, thank you. I'm trying to build a better infrastructure at work; do you have anything written up about how you work at Airbnb? Your "bring design & engineering closer together" mission sounds like what I'm trying to accomplish, would like to read/chat more about it.
8
1rae 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Would it be possible to use this on the server to create complicated PDF files for download (react -> sketch -> pdf), without using something like this current process (react dom -> html, css -> phantomjs -> pdf)?
9
xrjn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We have just recently started using React for new products that our team develops, doing the design in Sketch. This was already a huge improvement in efficiency compared to doing design in Photoshop and building products with Angular. I'm super excited to try this library on our next project and see how it can streamline the design and development cycle.
10
mixedbit 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Sketch.app name similarity with SketchUp can be a source of some confusion.
11
hoodoof 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not really clear WHAT this is - why would I use it, what would I get if I used it?
12
chadlavi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd really like to try to integrate some of this design philosophy (and what your team lays out in that DLS blog post, too) in my team's design flow. Thanks for this!
13
afandian 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What is a "Sketch document"? I didn't see a link or explanation in that page.
14
throaway4242 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It's great to see a company like airbnb developing and open sourcing so much cool stuff. Are you guys hiring developers?
15
fiatjaf 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't use anything from Airbnb (and no, I'm not a hotel or against the "sharing economy", much to the contrary).
22
Want to rescue rural America? Bust monopolies washingtonpost.com
409 points by avyfain  2 days ago   332 comments top 6
1
cs702 2 days ago 21 replies      
"I started a manufacturing company in Little Elm, about 35 miles north of Dallas, to produce the first-ever automatically retracting syringe to eliminate the risk of nurses contracting HIV through accidental needle sticks. The syringe received rave reviews from nurses, hospital executives and public health officials, a major grant from the National Institutes of Health and robust private investment. But when my partners and I tried to sell it to hospitals, we were told time and time again that even though it was a better product a lifesaving product they werent able to purchase it. The primary supplier of syringes, which controlled 80 percent of the market, structured an arrangement with a vast network of hospitals that essentially closed our industry to new firms for good."

A market in which buyers are not free to choose better products is not a free market.

A market in which new entrants cannot compete fairly against established players is not a free market.

A market in which innovators have to get permission and pay established players for "access" (think ISPs) is not a free market.

And yes, a market in which economic and political power is concentrated in large corporations geographically clustered in a handful of giant metropolitan areas... is also not a free market.

Those corporations have both strong incentives and the means to change the rules of competition to their advantage.

2
tanderson92 2 days ago 4 replies      
Highly relevant: Matt Stoller in The Atlantic:

"How Democrats Killed Their Populist SoulIn the 1970s, a new wave of post-Watergate liberals stopped fighting monopoly power. The result is an increasingly dangerous political system."

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/how-dem...

3
peacetreefrog 2 days ago 3 replies      
Her two examples, the medical and agriculture sectors, are two of the most regulated industries around.

A lot of these "monopolies" result because of regulation pushed by combination of well-meaning and self interested people and corporations (see bootleggers and baptists).

Her examples suggest it'd be better to focus on the marriage between corporations and government, which allows companies to focus their energy on getting gov to hassle their competitors vs improving their own product.

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

4
costcopizza 2 days ago 3 replies      
Drive through many American small towns and it looks the exact same.

A strip mall with a Subway, a couple national fast food joints, and if you're big enough, Wal-Mart.

There are literally 1000s of towns with this copy and paste setup-- how could this not be detrimental when money is going to a huge corporation every time?

5
michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 1 reply      
Multiple other comments in here about this particular niche that the subject of the story went into (medical supplies), but what came to mind to me was a similar story about how it's a similar situation with the golf ball market [1] and from many other stories with eyeglasses (Luxottica artificially dominates the market).

These are both cases where it's not so much anti-merger/monopoly law that's the culprit, but the general structure of the legal system that favors those with the larger pockets and forces out upstart manufacturers.

1 - http://www.golfdigest.com/story/ball-wars-costco-files-lawsu...

6
bko 2 days ago 6 replies      
> In 1994, at the height of the AIDS crisis, in which I lost several friends and a beloved employee to the disease, I started a manufacturing company in Little Elm, about 35 miles north of Dallas, to produce the first-ever automatically retracting syringe to eliminate the risk of nurses contracting HIV through accidental needle sticks. The syringe received rave reviews from nurses, hospital executives and public health officials, a major grant from the National Institutes of Health and robust private investment. But when my partners and I tried to sell it to hospitals, we were told time and time again that even though it was a better product a lifesaving product they werent able to purchase it. The primary supplier of syringes, which controlled 80 percent of the market, structured an arrangement with a vast network of hospitals that essentially closed our industry to new firms for good.

That last bit sentence me a bit odd. Rather than go into the details of incentives of hospitals and why they would forgo a better alternative, the author just attributes it to "monopoly". If this is true, there is some deeper misalignment with incentives in this industry that won't go away by just removing product providers that control a significant portion of the market. Or something that the author doesn't know about the industry that would make this decision make sense.

23
Replacing Disqus with GitHub Comments donw.io
528 points by indy  4 days ago   115 comments top 31
1
chubot 3 days ago 5 replies      
The slowness and chattiness of Disqus were the first things I noticed about it too. I'm disappointed that a YC company is resorting to that.

I ended up using Reddit for blog comments:

http://www.oilshell.org/blog/2016/12/29.html

Reddit has:

1) a good commenting interface

2) many existing users with accounts

3) a low barrier to a signup for those who don't (you barely even need an e-mail address)

4) an API

The downside right now is that you have to leave the page to comment, but I don't think it's a big deal. It probably lowers engagement a little, but I find that the most commens happen on other aggregators like HN, no matter which service you use for comments.

I also use reddit's RSS feeds, since a few people asked for that.

Reddit has its share of immature users and a culture of snark, but my subreddit has managed to steer clear of that.

2
minimaxir 4 days ago 3 replies      
It's worth noting that GitHub has a very strict rate limit for unauthenticated calls (https://developer.github.com/v3/#rate-limiting):

> For unauthenticated requests, the rate limit allows you to make up to 60 requests per hour. Unauthenticated requests are associated with your IP address, and not the user making requests.

In this case, all the comments for an issue are returned with a single API call, making the limit a nonissue (unless someone is binge-reading more than a post a minute)

Also, it may be a good idea to sanitize the comment.body_html. That seems XSS abuseable.

3
bexelbie 3 days ago 3 replies      
The author should consider https://staticman.net . This gets them comments as PRs and comments from the page.

I'm not affiliated with the site, I've just used them for comments on one static github hosted blog post.

4
nojvek 3 days ago 2 replies      
It seems Valley companies really love tracking. Disqus wasn't surprising that it was telling the entire world that you visited a page.

What surprises me is disqus didn't even give a shit about the page's loading time in an effort to violate users privacy and trust.

Disqus, If you are reading this thread, shame on you!

5
paradite 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't really like the idea of "exploiting" GitHub issues for blog comments.

This is obviously not a designed feature of GitHub API and it feels like an abuse of GitHub service.

6
shurcooL 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is cool. I like the simplicity and DIY approach.

I've done something similar with my blog. [1] It's not using Disqus or any heavyweight 3rd party solution for comments.

Instead, I've created something very simple, similar to GitHub Issues frontend UI and backend, and used that. The backend is completely pluggable (it's an interface [2]), so it can be implemented by talking to real GitHub API [3], or any custom implementation you want. My blog uses a simple JSON files implementation, so I can avoid a heavyweight database dependency.

Oh, and I've also implemented reactions. Not just 6, all of them. [4]

I do use GitHub for authentication though, I don't want to make people come up with yet another password.

[1] https://dmitri.shuralyov.com/blog/23#comment-1

[2] https://godoc.org/github.com/shurcooL/issues#Service

[3] https://godoc.org/github.com/shurcooL/issues/githubapi

[4] https://dmitri.shuralyov.com/blog/16

7
codinghorror 4 days ago 4 replies      
I totally get the concern as Disqus is a third party with their own monetization and ad goals. But it still seems a bit abusive of GitHub as a free service?

Why not stand up a Discourse instance for your comments? https://meta.discourse.org/t/embedding-discourse-comments-vi...

8
matt_wulfeck 4 days ago 2 replies      
I was totally sold with github as comments, but then I saw you need to leave the page to comment. That's really unfortunate! If we could get a minimalist, not tracking widget that would be ideal.
9
therealmarv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Better: Load Disqus comments on demand when pressing a button. Have seen this approach on some websites. The usage of GitHub for comments seems really wrong for me. Then better opt out with a system like Isso.
10
Kenji 3 days ago 3 replies      
Dumb question: Why don't people just slap a little PHP + MySQL comment section (or similar) onto their site? It takes little skill to do that and has the benefit that you control everything because all requests go to you and you can manage the tables yourself.
11
StreamBright 3 days ago 3 replies      
Wow, Disqus does so much tracking, this is insane. I am wondering why do they need these many services.
12
mrspeaker 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is a problem that Google Wave solved really nicely. You could embed a "Wave" at the bottom of each post on your blog/s. All of them then appeared in your Wave client in one place and you could reply/admin from there (or on the blog/s themselves).

I'm sad that didn't take off, it was so handy.

13
mwnivek 3 days ago 1 reply      
14
digimax 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've decided to move my blog to a GitHub + Gist since it's easy to crosslink and include code snippets. Visitors can write comments with their Github account and don't have to leave the site. The Github stars (likes) are also very nice :-) As "Index" I use a special Github Repo with link collection (date, title, url) to my Gist blogs and use Twitter to promote my blogs. Of course you could use the Github JSON API and jQuery to integrate it into youre website :)
15
agumonkey 3 days ago 1 reply      
I never ever found disqus bad as a user interface, it was swift and efficient. I had no idea about the amount of tracking though.
16
draw_down 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think Disqus also just has a lot of UI issues. For sites that I visit which used to implement their own comment system and switched, it has only been for the worse. You could argue that the opposite should be true since comments are Disqus's job and they can focus on doing just that thing well. But sites where people regularly comment are communities. Each wants things to work a little differently to match how the community functions. But besides that there are more basic things it simply doesn't handle well like paging and collapsing.
17
pmuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just unticked "Enable anonymous cookie targeting for your site's visitors." and that seems to have reduced the number of requests by 38!
18
mintplant 3 days ago 1 reply      
It looks like GitHub caches this really aggressively, as there are more comments showing up on the issue than on the article page. That may be a major downside to this technique.
19
qwert-e 3 days ago 1 reply      
I like Isso as an open source, self-hosted alternative to Disqushttps://posativ.org/isso/
20
manigandham 2 days ago 0 replies      
Disqus runs ads white-labeled through adsnative.com - and this is a programmatic ad network that uses real-time bidding to run auctions and get ads as the page loads - which come with numerous adtech networks attached in those tags. None of those listed are malware or outright harmful but they are all adtech companies in some aspect (ad serving, data tracking, verification, etc).

Disqus without ads and without real-time comments is pretty fast, but those days are long gone and they're also full of spam. It's also such easy spam to catch that it feels like they just stopped caring and are cashing in as long as they can.

Also why not just use Gists? I've seen a few people use them as a standalone blog pages with markdown files, and it also has an API available.

21
thehesiod 3 days ago 0 replies      
just posted that I found a serious bug in the github comment API last month and to my knowledge this hasn't been fixed yet, or at least their support hasn't acknowledged that it's fixed yet. The bug affects pages with 500+ comments, it will return duplicate comments instead of the unique set of comments. For example if you had comments: [1,2,3,4], it would sometimes return [1,1,3,4].
22
crohr 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in this approach, I wrote about using GitHub issues as the basis for your blog, and not just comments - http://ebarnouflant.com/posts/4-turn-your-github-issues-into...
23
ctlaltdefeat 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if this is really relevant, but recently I've been looking into something similar: trying to find a decent, self-hosted, simple "real-time chatbox" to add to my site instead of the various online options. Anyone know of something good for this?
24
andybak 3 days ago 3 replies      
I've had an idea for a potential free solution that should be easy to implement if anyone has more time than me:

A one-click setup simple enough for non-technical users.

Instructions should be along these lines:

1. Sign up for AWS if you haven't already got an account

2. Generate a keypair and run our setup/load our template/whatever (I'm a bit hazy on AWS automation but I would imagine there's a fairly obvious way to do this. The new CodeStar thing looks like it might fit the bill)

3. Place this snippet of javascript in your page

The service would use Lambda and DynamoDB to to handle storing/serving the comments. Costs would be fairly minimal for low-traffic sites.

Rough guess is that this would be no more than a few days to a couple of weeks work for someone. Am I over-optimistic?

So either someone does this to scratch an itch or we fund it via Patreon/Kickstarter.

25
djsumdog 3 days ago 1 reply      
Dear god that is an absolutely insane amount of 3rd party tracking. You would think Disqus would aggregate all the tracking into one service they control and then distribute it out (and also, it would only be one thing that needs to be blocked with uBlock Origin. Two problems solved!)
26
tarr11 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've made the decision to remove comments from my personal blog[1], and use Pull Requests and Issues for substantive discussion. "Chat" kinds of discussions are better off on social media like Twitter, or in specific communities, like HN.

[1] http://douglastarr.com/your-blog-may-not-need-comments

27
pvdebbe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Inspired by all this, I removed disqus from my own static blog. Nobody ever wrote me anything either so it's not going to be a big loss.
28
stevebmark 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can you replace gray on gray text with human readable colors next?
29
orf 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a good alternative to Disqus? I'd like something that's hosted for me, but also isn't as intrusive and maybe a bit cleaner.
30
0x54MUR41 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice observation!

I don't know if Disqus requests so much tracking. Currently, I am setting up a personal blog and looking for a comment system for it. There are two choices: Disqus and Twitter. Why? Disqus is free and easy to put it to whatever blog platforms you use and Twitter is free too, I think many people have it. After reading this, I think GitHub is not a good place to give a comment because somebody who doesn't have account must register first. I am talking about "non-developer" reader.

Does anybody here use Twitter as a blog comment system? I would like to know your experience since some of people usually use it for their blog.

31
carc1n0gen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Anybody using firebase to roll their own comment system?
24
Thousands of computers now compromised with leaked NSA tools, researchers say cyberscoop.com
369 points by remx  2 days ago   154 comments top 19
1
arca_vorago 2 days ago 10 replies      
Which is exactly what we crazy cookoo conspiracy theorists have been warning about. It's the same slipperly slope we already went through in the 90's crypto wars, but SV gets amnesia when it gets lots of stupid company valuations and forgets all those lessons apparently.

Bottom line is this. If you put backdoors in, or exploit 0days for your own, they will get out in the wild eventually, and suddenly you have massively weakened infrastructure, corporate, and government security... basically all the things important to national security in general. So while I don't disagree that triple letters need some cool tools to get shit done, I think this function needs some technocratic oversight specifically for this issue.

It's time for a new Church committee.

2
eternalvision 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tech security has been an afterthought for too long. The core technologies we use are putting us at grave risk in ways we simply cannot imagine. As we now are starting to realize, that all of our digital lives are permanently centrally recorded carries currently unimaginable risks down the road. That we have centralized global social networks carries risks that the majority of people are not able to experience or understand. We're progressing too fast technologically, and there's way too much of a gap between morphing cultural norms and a system of government that will be, by default, always out of date with respect to these evolving norms.

That we connect directly to a worldwide network with minimum consideration for security is very troubling. In decades to come, we'll look back in humility and realize that the manners in which we used technology added grave risks to our health.

In 2017, we are not in the "wild wild west" age of technology. Rather, we are firmly in the dark ages. We're so far away from having an understanding regarding the lack of social maturity in our technological growth that we fail to properly consider the downside risks.

This is a tough nut to crack because technology is simply too good for the majority, even the technically inclined majority. I recall efforts by very very talented folks to build decentralized technologies to help mitigate some of these long term risks, but such efforts will remain firmly at the fringes of intellectual superiority for a long time. Meanwhile, Goliath will simply grow stronger in time, unless there is some major cultural shift. Is there any such shift happening, beyond the fringe?

3
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 3 replies      
It would be interesting (although I expect impossible) to figure out how many of those thousands were compromised by the NSA vs those compromised by people who got the tools through the leak. It was nice that Microsoft had already fixed a bunch of them (almost like they were told ahead of time they were coming).

It is also interesting to read the outrage about the tools and the presentations on how to use them. If you have ever read the user's manual for a cluster bomb which no doubt tells you in detail how to maximize the number of people it will kill, you get a sense of how destructive and outrageous war can be. Why should cyber war be any different? And how is it any different to use a zero day to compromise a system than it is to use an architectural feature of a building to bring it down on top of its occupants (other than the obvious loss of life). Exploiting defects in the deployed system to maximize the effectiveness of a munition, not a new thing at all. Just the reality of warfare.

We're pretty clearly already in a form of warfare and it is having visible effects on things like infrastructure and elections. So how do we make the battles visible to the common folks? How do convince Mom & Dad to patch their router so that they don't inadvertently aid the 'badguys' in their quest for dominance on the digital battlefield?

Definitely feels like Phase III of the Internet has begun to me.

4
1001101 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have heard the NSA mission in this regard characterized as both defensive, and offensive. Defensive in that they protect our infrastructure (a counter-intel role), and offensive in that they attempt to exploit the infrastructure of our adversaries (and others) for sigint. They trick is finding the right balance, and I don't think there's much hope for agreement on that at the moment. I also find the debate a difficult one to engage in because there are large information asymmetries and much of what we're trying to discuss is obscured by secret courts, classified documents, etc. My impression is that even the people who are tasked with oversight don't get the full picture, so what do we hope to know about it. I've had experiences in industry that I can't talk about that maybe you (in the general sense) haven't had that also inform my views.

Personally, my view is that we should be putting the focus on the defensive side. Protect infrastructure, IP, etc. I believe the reputation of technology in general is harmed by the offensive mission, and US companies disproportionately so. There is now even greater incentives for our adversaries (and friends) to foster development of technologies that compete directly with US products in their own jurisdictions (where they can get a look under the hood).

5
mirimir 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Shodan has currently indexed more than 2 million IPs running a public SMB service on port 445. ..."

OK, I understand SMB on LAN. But SMB on the Internet? Is that likely accidental?

6
lend000 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like the idea of the agencies being allowed to use a zero-day with some asterisks.

* The zero-day has to be powerful enough to allow the agency to gain full access & remotely patch the zero day -- i.e. if the zero-day gets out, and the agency didn't warn the manufacturer ahead of time and instead used it for its own purposes, it must have the capability to "immediately" scan the internet for the vulnerability and patch it where accessible.

* If the above condition is not satisfied, or if the agency can't/won't dedicate the resources to develop a backup patch, it should be required to alert the manufacturer immediately.

Does this cost more? Yes. Does it limit some of the monitoring capabilities they will have? Yes. The second seems like a pro. The first one seems like a worthy compromise for questionable activity with high potential for collateral damage.

7
c0achmcguirk 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Once installed, DOUBLEPULSAR is a stealthy backdoor thats difficult to detect and continuously relays new information back to its controller."

Seems to contradict itself? If it's continuously relaying information, wouldn't that make it easy to detect?

8
davidf18 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am worried about the firmware of Intel processors which I believe have had firmware since the mid-1990s or a bit later. Is this possible and are there tools "in the wild" that are capable of doing this? Does Intel do some sort of checksum to ensure that this cannot happen?
9
LoSboccacc 2 days ago 1 reply      
shower thought: have them been infected now, or now are known to be infected?
10
balgan 2 days ago 0 replies      
For more details on this and regular updated on the infection numbers check:https://blog.binaryedge.io/2017/04/21/doublepulsar/
11
Pica_soO 2 days ago 0 replies      
The zero-day NSA Pensionfund congratulates John & Jane Doe to his retirement and wishes him/her a nice golden autumn in his Florida beach villa.
12
awqrre 2 days ago 0 replies      
At the very least, they should at least create some honeypots to know when those exploits are being used by others...
13
rapjs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks Apple, for not caving to public pressure.
14
awarer 2 days ago 2 replies      
Side topic: How can the free market/enterprise work properly if there are backdoors and zero days all over the place?
15
godmodus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good, the will jolt national and global security standards.
16
thomastjeffery 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just thousands? I think that is a few orders of magnitude shy...
17
sebow 2 days ago 0 replies      
shocking news indeed, seems like you need researchers and studies about everything nowadays, otherwise you're called names
18
wslh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are the added to a popular antivirus list?
19
noja 2 days ago 0 replies      
"now"
25
WikiTribune Evidence-based journalism wikitribune.com
433 points by spearo77  1 day ago   210 comments top 39
1
Animats 17 hours ago 10 replies      
So this is a for-profit operation where volunteers do the work? The site is vague about such details. "People like you helping people like us help ourselves?" Not good. You can be a for-profit or a non-profit, but pretending to be a non-profit when you're not is deceptive.

Their terms of use are awful.[1] Note that they want to operate under British law, where libel law favors the subject. They have an indemnification clause, so their volunteers could be compelled to reimburse WikiTribune if WikiTribune loses a libel suit. That's happened in the UK; see the famous McLibel case, where McDonalds sued two Greenpeace volunteers. That decision was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. But, post-Brexit, that level of appeal will no longer be available.

They also appear to have plagiarized the terms of use from other sites. One section reads "We may, in our sole discretion, limit or cancel quantities purchased per person, per household or per order. ... We reserve the right to limit or prohibit orders that, in our sole judgment, appear to be placed by dealers, resellers or distributors." That exact text appears on other sites, usually ones that sell tangible goods. It's completely inappropriate here. Sloppy.

This stuff matters when the business involves pissing people off. Don't volunteer to write for this organization unless and until they work out the liability issue.

[1] https://www.wikitribune.com/terms-of-use/[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLibel_case

2
RandyRanderson 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Are the facts more important or are the topics? For example, the NYT is generally pretty factual however IMO the topics they select and placement in the periodical are the message.

So the fact that they write front page article on some terrorist attack in say France that kills 5 while a similar drone strike on the same day in Afganistan kills 20 and gets buried on page 30 is the point.

Who was is that once said the first casualty in any war is truth? And how many blows did we miss that lead to that first casualty?

Regardless, I see little downside to this and hope it's successful!

3
jim-jim-jim 22 hours ago 6 replies      
The article in the dupe thread suggested that this would combat "fake news," but I dunno about that. I get the impression that people who digest biased/questionable sources do it to express tribal affiliation more than some genuine need to be informed. Hell, many people share articles without even reading them; they're primarily concerned with what the headline in their feed says about their character rather than the world at large. I'm not sure if having (another) "evidence based" outlet is going to be of any use to your cranky uncle.

I think the real promise lies in Wikitribune potentially going toe-to-toe with "real news" like CNN or the Washington Post. These outlets also don't always get the facts straight and can't be said to have a diehard following. If a superior option presents itself, readers will follow.

4
kristianc 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This feels like Vox - another attempt to 'explain the news', or 'provide more context'.

The fundamental problem that these sites run into is a thorough understanding of issues in the news requires context, and very often not the kind of context that can fit into an 800 word blog post on a subject.

An 800 word blog or article of any sort necessitates that you're going to make choices about which evidence you're going to include, which sources are credible and which sources are not, which sources add to the discussion vs which only serve to obscure. As soon as you do that, you're adding bias.

You can set out to build an 'evidence based' news site, but what you quickly find is that you've built a site with paid journalists (who have their own biases) supported by volunteers (who are the people most likely to have political skin in the game).

The problem is that people want a shortcut for everything - they want an 800 word post that will tell them everything they need to know about Syria. No such thing exists. There's no substitute for actually putting in the work and navigating the bias yourself.

5
dev_head_up 17 hours ago 0 replies      
> WikiTribune is 100% ad-free, no ones relying on clicks to appease advertisers; no ones got a vested interest in anything other than giving you real news.

Ha! Oh c'mon, anyone who's experienced the activistism of certain groups on Wikipedia knows there's plenty of people with a vested interest in this kind of thing.

6
remarkEon 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I understand what they're trying to do here, but beyond the problem of "fake news" there appears to be a deep crisis within the profession of Journalism itself. Wales is correct, in my opinion, that the proximate cause of this crisis is indeed social media. (If you don't agree just ask yourself how often you visit the masthead of whatever newspaper you typically read, and why that might be the case.) But I just don't see crowd-sourcing as the solution to this problem. I'm inclined to agree with @intended's diagnosis, and I feel like the solution has to come from the profession of Journalism itself.

So, in attempt to not be "that guy" that just complains here's what I'd suggest as a start.

- Institutions need to drop their relationship with Facebook et al (The Guardian has just done this [1]).

- There's a few places (and in the interest of avoiding starting a flame war, I'll forgo naming them explicitly) that parade themselves as "objective" sources of news by telling you they're explaining "complicated" concepts in digestible ways. In my view, that's just a rhetorical tactic to disguise what is actually just advocacy journalism. It's not objective at all, and seeks to form your opinion rather than present you with data from which you form your own. These places need to either be shut down, or pivot back to what we'd traditionally consider actual reporting.

- I consider myself reasonably well read, and read the actual, physical paper daily (when I can, I suppose). There is a distinct difference between the content I see pushed on the internet and what's in the traditional paper and it's this: increasingly articles that belong on the opinion pages are pushed elsewhere, probably because they know it'll generate more clicks elsewhere on the site because it makes either a controversial or marginally supported claim. In my view this directly contributes to the loss of faith people have in the Journalistic profession because it's just so damn easy to point out instances of bias. So, hire some old school editors and fire the "social media" guy and put content where it belongs.

That's just what I can think of off the top of my head right now, but I'm pretty convinced that "crowd-sourcing" is not the answer to this problem.

[1] http://digiday.com/media/guardian-pulls-facebooks-instant-ar...

7
clarkmoody 22 hours ago 4 replies      
I love the idea of trying a new business model for news delivery, especially one centered around facts.

I seriously hope this project can overcome the prevalent, subtle biases in media. For instance, every single headline from the recent French election mentioned "far-right" Le Pen without also mentioning any ideological affiliation of the other candidates. Painting your opponent as an extremist is an effective political tactic, and "far-right" certainly sounds extreme. Were most media outlets opposed to Le Pen, hence the extreme label? Why not label any other candidates?

I'm not necessarily optimistic about the prospects for unbiased news, but I will be watching this project as it progresses.

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sid-kap 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I know this is petty, but I kinda hope they build this on better technology than MediaWiki. MediaWiki has lots of annoying pitfalls. For example, there is no native support for threaded conversations. Also they have 2 or 3 different math syntaxes and no consensus on which one should be used where.
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aphextron 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I love the sentiment. But how does this differ from Wikinews? Is this not just arbitrarily passing the buck of "gatekeeper" to whatever people have enough free time to contribute?
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spiderfarmer 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This is almost exactly what "De Correspondent"[1] in The Netherlands strives to be, with regards to ads, open data and relying on experts among their readers. They announced that they'll open source their CMS but it's not available yet. Too bad really.

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

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andrewla 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm interested to see how this project evolves. As it is, even before all the furor about "fake news", I found myself consistently using Wikipedia to get summary and background information about ongoing news events, where mainstream news sources would present new data without any context and deliberately avoiding showing information about primary sources where available in favor of more internal links to other stories that give a glimpse of the point-in-time view of an ongoing story.

This is even more pronounced for retrospective coverage, where developments in the story as it had evolved are hard to glean from the coverage at the time, but important facts are surfaced throughout the coverage that are often elided in a retrospective published by a news source, but are well-represented, even controversially (where facts disagree or question the overall narrative).

My main complaint about the current trend in journalism (under Trump) is that the desire to sell clicks is so strong that you get no idea whether anything that happens is highly unusual or just routine, but the negative spin is so heavy that I can no longer trust that I'm being told how unusual each event is unless I really dig into it to find out.

A great example is the ongoing harassment of international travelers in the US. The impression I get is that things have gotten much worse, but there's certainly ample evidence of unpleasant behavior even under previous administrations, and some slim cherry-picked data saying that it's gotten worse. This is clearly a space where better sourcing of primary sources would help to make things a lot clearer, and to an extent, a somewhat adversarial approach to news research would help to reduce the tendency towards alarmism.

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rodionos 18 hours ago 0 replies      
If this ends up being the same as data journalism, it would be great.

- http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail - home of ... data journalism

- https://careers.bloomberg.com/job/detail/47892 - seeking a ... data journalist

- https://www.usnews.com/topics/author/deidre-mcphillips - ... is a data reporter

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spearo77 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems to be overloaded right now, but I found their campaign video via search in Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/214586867

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anigbrowl 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Has potential, as a news junkie I'm interested in both using and contributing to this. Heaven knows internet news delivery needs an overhaul. Google could have solved his problem years ago but have instead chosen to profit off it.
15
gkoberger 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Site's down, but here's an article about it: http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/04/wikipedia-founder-jimmy-wal...
16
lr4444lr 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Supporting Wikitribune means ensuring that that journalists only write articles based on facts that they can verify

This is hardly the only source of bias in the news, which is an age-old problem. We'd be better off just expecting news organizations to announce their bias up front so that we don't have to read between the lines in order to ferret out its nuances.

17
mcculley 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I was excited to read the announcement. Then I discovered it is not really ready to go. This gives me the impression that it is half baked. That's really not the impression they should be making with something so important.

I tried to register as a supporter. Upon submitting my credit card, I got a CloudFlare error. I have no idea what was supposed to happen when I registered.

When I received the confirmation email, I clicked the "confirm" button, was asked to prove I was human by identifying photos of gas stations, then taken to the website of impossible.com instead of WikiTribune.

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anothercomment 16 hours ago 1 reply      
All these efforts have the same issue that existing media outlets have: why should they be more trustworthy than the existing media? All the newspapers in existence already claim that their number #1 goal is to report the truth. We all know they tend to fail miserably.
19
barking 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the famous Huey Long quote:

"One of these days the people of Louisiana are going to get good government - and they aren't going to like it."

If there ever is a 'paper' that publishes the full unvarnished un-redacted truth about everything, it will have very many enemies, some of them very powerful.

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intended 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Reinventing the wheel, or in this case, reinventing the square wheel.

Wikitribune solves a problem, just not the problem they have defined as the target.

They've used a naive view of the problem; the model under this ignores the existence of antagonists and too much faith in crowd sourcing difficult problems.

Antagonists will prey on services like this, and off the top of my head, here's 2 ways in which such a service can be made biased.

1) baseless accusations, oft repeated. Find the facts inimical to your (the antagonists) position. Ignore them.

Find facts which are borderline, and have dog whistle properties - highlight these facts ad nauseum. Say that "Wikitribune is biased". Repeat till it sticks.

Then target the facts inimical to you.

2) flood the service with facts that serve your cause- humans have only so much working memory.

----

The particular structure wikitribune has chosen, will result in issues. There's a reason print news papers had an editor and a whole staff dedicated to working together.

With volunteers there's no structure, and that causes failures, just consider the Boston bomber case. Of course with a journalist in the mix the assumption is that they will push back.

But the structure is supposedly egalitarian, which just means that this is going to end up causing the same politicking, and admin arguing that plagues Wikipedia.

Recruit everyone, don't get volunteers. Get the whole team.

> Articles are authored, fact-checked, and verified by professional journalists and community members working side by side as equals, and supported not primarily by advertisers, but by readers who care about good journalism enough to become monthly supporters

The wisdom of the crowd fails all too often. As another article recently discussed, it's 5% of the people that take up most of your time.

How will this structure deal with truly divisive news articles? Or people who have conflicts (and conflicts of interest) within the group?

How will you deal with the fact that one day someone can say "volunteer X was a pedophile from <country>!"

Kudos for trying it.

This looks like a propaganda machine which will use the wiki brand about to be born.

21
eddieh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If only it would load again (too much traffic I presume). I'm prepared to fork over some serious cash.
22
resist_futility 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone know why this is an independent project instead of being part the Wikimedia foundation?
23
RhysU 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a great way to cite secondary sources. How does this model work for a primary source?
24
alva 23 hours ago 2 replies      
"Facts can be presented with bias, taken out of context and most recently a lot of facts are just plainmade-up. Supporting Wikitribune means ensuring that that journalists only write articles based on facts that they can verify."

Honourable aims for this project, however once you are literally only reporting the presented facts (without bias - aka opinion) surely you are just a Wire Service?

25
hartsdown 14 hours ago 0 replies      
My BS detector tells me WikiTribune will fail but will collect lots of money from gullible CrowdFunders. Sorry, no evidence to justify that conclusion apart from the fact that at the moment it's a bit like watching a video of some device floating in a river that somehow against the law of physics is going to power a small village :-)
26
davidlago 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Anybody else getting stuck after the payment screen? I ended up getting a cloudflare error...
27
fs111 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How is a 28 year old fashion model exactly going to advise them on anything related to journalism?
28
cwyers 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Wikipedia has pretty much ruined the encyclopedia by driving it down to the lowest common denominator. I look forward to them doing the same for news.
29
saurabhn 22 hours ago 2 replies      
What checks does the Wiki model offer against, say, a 4chan-style brigading? I love the idea, I just want it to be bulletproof too.
30
JumpCrisscross 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Tried to make a donation. Hit the button and then got an endless "please wait" message. UPDATE: oh no I killed it.
31
killjoywashere 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I tried to donate and got a 503 after inputting my credit card. Guess I'll wait for that to settle out for a while...
32
dayaz36 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The premise that the news was truthful before the internet and we need to go back to having gatekeepers is comical
33
empressplay 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It concerns me that they don't know the difference between 'lead' and 'led'.

Otherwise I love the idea that there must be an attributable source to all information they present -- no more "senior government officials" or "anonymous FBI agents"...

34
krmbzds 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I would support it if it weren't down.
35
lips 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I just daft or do I not see any sort of workflow described?Do I need to watch the video?
36
redsummer 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Wikipedia was the original fake news. For instance, someone might edit an article to say that a person was a known political extremist. Someone else might write an article (not on Wikipedia) saying the same thing (after having read the Wikipedia article). Years later, if the information is questioned on Wikipedia, then editors will add a reference to the off-wiki article, and everyone will be happy. Circular fake news, with truth going down the plughole. The entropic heat death of information.

I've looked at large articles I contributed to a few years ago and they are now disasters. Full of bowdlerisation, inconsistent style, and false snippets of information. I think the abusive nature of many Wikipedia admins, and the hostility of Wikipedia itself to knowledge, will eventually just make it a 4chan with pretentions.

37
soufron 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Lily Cole is an advisor against fake news?
38
known 22 hours ago 2 replies      
truth != fact
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spullara 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. What a terrible start. I'd expect something a little more robust given the obvious attention it would attract.
26
Tmux and Vim better together bugsnag.com
460 points by kiyanwang  5 days ago   289 comments top 25
1
zeroxfe 5 days ago 19 replies      
All this looks really great, however I think I just can't deal with the effort of maintaining these complex editor configurations anymore.

I've been a multi-decade Vim user, until I switched to VSCode last year. It made me realize how much better the user experience can be for an editor. I had all kinds of complex vim configurations and plugins with special cases for linux vs. mac, server vs. desktop, GUI vs. terminal, all of which are a huge pain in the butt to maintain.

If there was one thing I could ask of Vim (or even emacs), it'd be a consistent high-quality default user experience.

(Ofcourse, the default experience in VSCode isn't perfect either, but it took me four lines in settings.json and four plugins (vim, go, eslint, clang) for a near-perfect experience.)

2
whitetub 5 days ago 2 replies      
I use tmux and vim together as my dev environment for five years (used Sublime before) and I like to add another thought:

One huge advantage is that I can run the dev setup on a remote server which allows to keep the entire enviroment with all build tools and watchers live and persistent for weeks. You can do this on a local environment as well if you never shutdown the system or suspend only but it still feels different. Just an example: You worked weeks ago on a side-project and want to get in again for a small fix. Just to recall and open all relevant files, run the build tool and server plus tweaking the layout requires five minutes and usually you don't do it, you just want to fix one line and not think about the project setup. With tmux you go to the respective workplace with prefix+p (for previous) in case you kept the workplace still running. That's it. With a 1GB RAM VPS I can run many tmux workplaces/windows each with ~8 vim instances or other processes.

Further, I can develop on any of my notebooks/PCs/OSes with an ssh client installed, even on my phone. Btw, tmux and vim are perfect for phone keyboards, try it and it happens really frequently that you are on the go and want to try another idea/fix. Here, prefix+z for zooming into a pane is quite helpful.

And when I get a new computer my dev environment doesn't have to be setup again. I am still using the same remote server which survived three notebooks now.

And a (small) bonus: If you want to show coworkers your work in a browser (if it's a website) you give them just your static server IP without the need to ifconfig your current local dynamic IP before.

Running your dev environment remotely is a small thing but makes a huge difference in daily use.

3
Taek 5 days ago 3 replies      
I've found my flow with vim+i3+ranger

i3 is a window manager that can outcompete anything you can do with vim splits or a tool like tmux/screen. It's whole existence is based around putting windows in the right place at the right time.

Ranger is a vim-like ncurses file browser. I think it's genuinely one of the most underappreciated tools in programming. The ability to hjkl through your file system, with quick marks, with vim-style cut/paste, with visual mode, with about 20 other things that I use daily which just means that no other viewer comes remotely close.

My typical flow has between 4 and 12 terminals open, with the bulk being ranger->vim, which allows me to easily navigate complex project structures. The others are usually make, or htop, or some ssh.

I'll usually have a couple of web browsers open in another workspace as well. i3 tiling extends to all applications.

4
hultner 5 days ago 3 replies      
I usually use :!command to run a command real quick from within vim, where I also have access to the current filename and contents.

A classic gem is ":w !diff % -" to see what I've changed since the last save.

5
red2awn 5 days ago 6 replies      
Neovim got a great builtin terminal emulator so I can just treat it like any other vim panes.
6
dotsh 5 days ago 2 replies      
Nice article, I used tmux for a long time until I switched back to screen as it is default on most operating systems.

--

Dunno is it only me but I see a weird thing going on with "new" Vim community.

Everyone is starting to use it as a VSCode or Atom, trying to use hundreds plugins but most of them don't even know how to use tabs properly... I see most of this by new "neo" fans "you don't know how to make a thing in Vim? Download Neovim... or even Spacevim configuration." type of way. :)

Don't want to start a war here because every editor has it's own fans and I do not want to offend anybody either. But every one should learn to use vanilla version of their editor of choice before moving further.

7
Morantron 5 days ago 0 replies      
Nice article! I'm gonna introduce some of this in my configuration for sure!

I have a function in my .vimrc ( https://github.com/Morantron/dotfiles/blob/master/vimrc#L229 ) that allows me to send current vim selection to the adjacent tmux pane with vimux. This comes in very handy in REPLing sessions ( MySQL and the like ).

For copy pasting stuff ( like ids, urls, SHAs, etc ) I use https://github.com/morantron/tmux-fingers which is awesome and you should totally try it! ( </shameless-plug> )

8
nolemurs 5 days ago 3 replies      
Tmux is a great program, especially when trying to edit on a remote server. But I think it's worth pointing out that for most purposes, Tmux is basically just a Tiling Window Manager that only works on your terminals.

Tiling Window Managers are awesome, and I totally see why people who can't use one would choose to use Tmux, but if you have the option, I would totally recommend just going with the TWM and skipping Tmux.

9
falcolas 5 days ago 0 replies      
Prior to moving to a mac and using iTerm2, I did this very thing. But iTerm2 has good enough support for all of the same things, without some of the limitations imposed by tmux, that I find I don't need to use tmux anymore. Split windows, quick switching between panes, mouse support... it's all just there.

When I work remotely, I use the tmux integration provided by iTerm2 to provide more native windows, and it works well enough that I don't have to think about it most of the time.

If I were moving back to Windows or to a Linux development machine, I probably would go back to tmux in a single window. I'm just somewhat glad I don't have to right now.

10
vanboxel 5 days ago 0 replies      
I was a little bummed to see no mention of `slimux`. It's a fantastic way to execute commands in a real shell (another tmux pane) from the comfort of your ViM session. By combining this with say IPython running in the shell, it's a powerful way to do data analysis. I wrote an ebook on this kind of workflow at http://dvbuntu.github.io/compute/
11
tmaly 5 days ago 1 reply      
I have been using vim since 1996. I really never started customizing things till 2005. I still keep things super minimal.
12
chilicuil 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is great, I have a similar configuration with near to zero effort to setup thanks to vundle (vim) and tundle (tmux) plugin managers.

https://github.com/chilicuil/dotfiles/blob/master/.vimrc#L25...

https://github.com/chilicuil/dotfiles/blob/master/.tmux.conf...

One additional trick I often use is to look for inotify events in split tmux panes to compile/run tests on every save.

https://superuser.com/questions/181517/how-to-execute-a-comm...

13
1001101 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hmm. I use both vim (and vi since '93 or '92), and tmux, but maybe not with this type of workflow - mine is similar. For a shell, I use ConqueShell (and ConqueGDB when debugging) and have a vertical split bound to a leader (and you can use the output as a normal buffer - copy, paste, scroll, search using regex in normal, etc are some of the benefits). I've got shift+arrow bindings for navigating around buffers in splits, and alt+arrow for navigating around windows. As for running tests, I have autocmds that do bindings based on filetype for generic operations, and if there's a test I run often on a project, I just create a leader binding for it. If you're thinking about this type of workflow, give ConqueShell an eval. YMMV.edit: fzf seems to work a lot like CTRL-P.
14
vitorsgomes 5 days ago 5 replies      
How do you guys share session in TMUX beetween computers that there are not in the same local network?
15
brunoluiz 5 days ago 2 replies      
Not sure if it is only at my Mac, but with the latest Mac OS + iTerm + TMUX + VIM, my clipboard doesn't work properly, even using the following setup on my tmux

bind-key -t vi-copy y copy-pipe "reattach-to-user-namespace pbcopy"

Anyone with the same problem?

16
erikb 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm really a little disappointed how much this article is about using plugins and additional tools instead of learning to integrate both tools by oneself. At least vim is not a tool that gets better by plugins.
17
cmurf 5 days ago 0 replies      
I use tmux and vim often, but man my mind turns to mush reading about about either one of them. The biggest hassle I have is with copy-paste with tmux which I find ugly and can never remember. And then the method differs if you need to copy from tmux to another program that is not in tmux. Like for example just clicking on a URL in a tmux pane won't work (for me), nor have I figured out how to copy them so I can paste them into Firefox. And whenever I go read about it or ask it's like, 14 steps to glory and my mind is mush on step 4.

No, I don't think I have a brain injury.

18
baldfat 5 days ago 1 reply      
I love TMux and Vim and I miss it when off my machine. Has anyone used TMux in the Creator's Edition of Windows 10? It is AWESOME. I need to get CMUS and Ranger working and I will be a happy camper.
19
flukus 4 days ago 0 replies      
What keyboards are everyone using for these setups? I find by the time you've got three layers (desktop, tmux, vim) the bindings are getting really complicated and inconsistent. Alt-tab might switch applications but then some lower programs use alt for a lot of things.

I'd love something configurable, like a dedicated WM key, a dedicated tmux key and a dedicated vim/app key.

I'm sure it's possible to setup manually, but it would take a lot of work.

20
jeromenerf 5 days ago 0 replies      
Being a tmux+vim and acme user, I'd love to see some mouse integration when using tmux+vim: - right click on a file pattern, say some/path/to/file:line:column to open in the current vim session- middle click on some selection to execute in a new tmux pane

That would be a nice way to integrate with the surrounding environment without so many plugins, just simple programs that would run in a separate window.

Vim remote can help, neovim-remote might help even further.

21
cmurf 5 days ago 1 reply      
Another idea is a tiling terminal program. I just started using Tilix.

https://github.com/gnunn1/tilix

It has panes, sessions, windows. Customizing is a lot easier if you're not already familiar with tmux. The one thing you get with tmux that's killer is if your shell dies (remote disconnect, you have to logout, etc) the processes in tmux keep running.

22
whatupmd 5 days ago 0 replies      
I like using :r ! <command> for running terminal commands.

What I liked the most about your article is that 'further reading' section at the bottom!

23
egonschiele 5 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of good advice, Vimux was the killer for me I think. I have a common workflow of edit -> run -> edit and that will make that workflow seamless.

I also tried out vim-arpeggio but kept seeing "Arpeggio is not defined". Looks like the project hasn't been updated for a while.

24
paapi__gudiya 5 days ago 4 replies      
I use vim 7.4 and it segfaults atleast four-five times everyday. I suspect it's some plugin that is causing it to crash but I don't really know. Does it happen to anyone else too?

I have mapped Ctrl-C to ESC and I use it often. One specific instance I have seen vim crash is when the cursor is at np.inf and I press Ctrl-C.

25
vxxzy 5 days ago 8 replies      
I've shyed away from using tmux and Vim. For some reason, when I use tmux and Vim, if I 'copy' a snippet of text (using my mouse/cursor higlight -> right-click -> copy) it treats all of the empty space a actual "space" characters when I 'paste'. Why does it do this?
27
Why Juiceros Press Is So Expensive bolt.io
461 points by pccampbell  1 day ago   350 comments top 28
1
freehunter 1 day ago 10 replies      
I'm not a mechanical engineer, but it seems like a roller would be able to provide a more efficient and focused method of squeezing than a press they're using now.

What we see in most products is a result of the accountants saying "no" to too much. Cheap parts, assembled cheaply, pennies saved per part. What we see here is the exact opposite: the accountants didn't say "no" nearly often enough. Apple manufactures custom everything because they can, and because they sell at massive scales. Juicero wanted to be Apple quality without selling at Apple quantity.

I fully believe you get a better cup of juice squeezing with their massive press rather than by hand because it can press over a bigger surface. I also believe it doesn't matter a bit, because this is a worthless piece of equipment. Beautiful engineering, though.

2
mohn 1 day ago 2 replies      
This was great reading, I really enjoy this style of content: someone with expertise tearing down electrical and mechanical equipment and commenting on which parts are well done or poorly done.

I'll definitely be on the lookout for other write ups from Ben Einstein. To anyone wanting more content like this, I also recommend the "Bored of Lame Tool Reviews?" (BOLTR) series of videos from YouTuber AvE:

https://www.youtube.com/user/arduinoversusevil

3
guelo 1 day ago 2 replies      
Part of the problem is that the cold-pressed juice fad is not really rational to begin with. Somehow customers are convinced that the method of juice extraction is extremely important to the juice's health benefits, to the point that it's worth spending 3x comparable juices. It's great marketing on the verge of fraud. In order to capitalize on the fad the startup probably thought they needed a really fancy, distinctive press since the press has become of mythical importance in the customers' mind. And since cold-pressed customers have already proven to be cost insensitive they figured price is no object, so let engineering go wild!
4
TD-Linux 1 day ago 3 replies      
The two strangest parts of this are probably the door locking mechanism and the DC motor supply. The door locking was pretty well explained, but I was really surprised at the DC motor. From previous pictures I had assumed it was a 170VDC motor (using just a rectifier + filters for noise) but according to this it's actually a 330V active power correction boost converter. I guess that gets you 100-240V range support, but it seems horribly expensive for driving a motor. Even 170VDC permanent magnet motors are pretty uncommon - they fill an awkward middle ground where the motor is too big to reasonably use a low voltage DC one (due to power supply costs), but too small to use a universal AC motor directly off line power. The only tools AvE has reviewed of this design are the Kitchenaid mixer and Drill Doctor, for reference.

Also, I don't believe "330V 15A" for a second. Maybe 2A...

5
Animats 1 day ago 3 replies      
That's a cute piece of mechanism. I can see how they got into that overdesign. There must have been insistence that the pack must be crushed between two flat plates. Once you insist on that, it gets complicated.

I once got a chance to look closely at the mechanism of SF's JCDecaux overpriced automatic street toilets in SF. Those cost about $150K each. The mechanism is all Telemecanique industrial control components. If you built a washing machine that way, which you could, it would cost $5000-$10000.

Compare the Portland Loo.[1]

[1] http://theloo.biz/

6
bane 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the upcoming season of Silicon Valley will feature a startup called "Juicaneros" which features a technology that tests blood collected by pricking a single finger, and then squeezing all of the blood out of an arm through the new pricked hole by putting the arm into a 4-ton press.
7
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 3 replies      
Wow, that is amazing. I've seen less engineered products never make it to production.

I would quibble about the custom power supply though, they are not as difficult as they were in the past. Much of the 'magic' of building good SMPS supplies has been encapsulated into very clever chips and certification bodies have seen enough of them now that the checklists are pretty straight forward.

I don't get the outrage though.

8
Nition 1 day ago 4 replies      
Wow, this is an amazing teardown of the machine. Re the "apply force to the whole thing equally at once" problem mentioned at the end, I wonder if you could do something more like a roller on one side and a plate or another roller on the other, that rolls down from the top of the pack to the bottom.

Also, as overwrought and unnecessary as the Juicero product is, I can't agree with the "it's useless because you can do it by hand" argument. I could probably hand wash my clothes as well as the washing machine does in the same amount of time, but it's hardly useless. While the Juicero is pressing your juice you can be making your lunch or something.

Who knows why the CEO's response skipped straight past "having the machine do it saves you time" to "it can automatically lock you out if your pack expired."

9
toddmorey 1 day ago 2 replies      
They could have (and seems should have) created an elegant manual press, maybe with a crank mechanism of some kind. Would have arguably taken about the same amount of counter space and I still think that something beautiful yet manual would have played with the demo. Think pour over coffee crowd... a bit of easy manual work makes you feel like an artisan. Still would have packet subscription, still would have app potential for expiry notices and subscription management.
10
daemin 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I have to say I do find it disheartening that everything is aiming for a subscription model. Software, food, etc. I know that it is a very profitable business model but it does make me wonder if I really want to live in a world where everything is by subscription.

These subscription models, or even machines that require only a certain type of consumable, are effectively leases. Sure you may buy a piece of hardware, but it is only useful for as long as you buy and use the required consumable.

I am comfortable in renting a place to live - especially since I have moved about every 2-3 years in recent memory - and I am comfortable paying a subscription fee for some software and services. But I am not that comfortable when I have to subscribe to food or clothing for example.

11
godmodus 1 day ago 4 replies      
Beauriful but over engineered for its niche and utterly useless.

700bucks for abag squeezer? Something went terribly wrong.

It feels like they aimed to produce some advanced robotics and built the wrong product. Could turn this into a limb for amputees, makes more sense and actually good use of the resources.

12
IAmGraydon 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the machine is fine and I don't feel like $400 is very much for a well built appliance. What kills me about this thing is the fact that they take so many steps to lock you in to their juice packs, which are priced so high that a regular user will have spent more on juice in the first month than the entire machine. Couple that with requiring a nanny QR scan to make sure you can't press "expired" packs as if we are unable to simply read an expiration date and it gets ridiculous. By the way, has anyone mentioned that the expiration on the packs is 8 days after the date of manufacture? Subtract shipping time and you literally have 4 days to use your packs before you shiny new machine says "gotta buy more!" What if I'm ok with a 9 day old pack? Too bad. I think that's what will kill the Juicero. It makes customers feel like they're being hustled.
13
Taniwha 1 day ago 0 replies      
14
archagon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Incredible. Does this make Juicero the first mass-market example of chindgu?

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

15
scandox 1 day ago 1 reply      
This could become a collectible piece of hardware. A sort of beautiful tech historical folly. Might be worth the actual price over a 50 to 60 year timeline.
16
gyrgtyn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like they are getting a bunch of free press.
17
mianos 1 day ago 2 replies      
Using all those CNC milled parts is simply crazy. CNC is for prototypes, small runs, super specialised load characteristics or runs of parts that are practically impossible to make otherwise. This use does not tick any of those boxes.
18
dsmithatx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I bought a $300 juice 15 years ago and it's a simple design and can juice anything. It's basically a giant motor with a plastic assembly attached to the front to hold the food.

If you are serious about juicing you can find cheaper products that don't require packets. This is a convenience item for people with a lot of money. There is no way this company will be worth $120MM unless they design a low cost model.

19
ironchief 1 day ago 1 reply      
Out of all the Juicero outrage, this is the best. You can still admire something for all its flaws.
20
PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
$400 for a juice machine is not crazy; if you spend that much on an ordinary juicer you can make gallons of carrot juice for a very low price. (It saves money, it doesn't cost money)

You do have to clean up a mess, but if your time is that valuable you can hire a maid to do it for about that $5-$8 price point of the packs.

21
pfooti 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given the breakdown, it seems like the juicero press could do a lot more than just pressing bags full of pre-chopped stuff. Do you think they engineered it to do more, but then ended up being unable to actually make premade bags that contained big enough chunks of fruit / veg to work?
22
xg15 1 day ago 1 reply      
(Half-)joking, but the irony is, with so many interest and high-quality parts, the press looks like it could be a desired object for makers. In particular, it contains:

- two motors, one of them exceptionally strong - a durable drive train - a control board with flash memory, wifi, a camera and a USB plug for flashing without additional tools(!) - a durable aluminum frame

Those parts look like they could be building blocks for some interesting hobby projects. Did they ever think about selling to makers?

23
cateye 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, definitely over-engineered and needlessly expensive for it's purpose.

But at the same time, it feels like they have achieved such a great quality that the learning and experience to design and execute could be very valuable as an unintended consequence.

So, maybe quality always wins in the long run nevertheless. Wouldn't you hire these guys and pay a premium, if you wanted to manufacture great hardware?

24
kazinator 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the King's Toaster, an ancient allegory about overengineering a food appliance:

http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/hack/ktoast.html

25
jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think Juicero cares one way or another about your ability to side-step their juicer, as long as you buy the packs because that is where the money is. They'd probably give you the juicer for free if you signed up for a 3 years worth supply of juice packs.
26
PascLeRasc 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is a good example of why the Keurig method of hardware sales[1] works so well. People would be okay with buying marked-up juice pouches because that's the real product. The juicer is just a means to an end.

[1] https://blog.bolt.io/keurig-accidentally-created-the-perfect...

27
grappler 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A machine with that level of quality has a lot of appeal for me. Something generally useful like a blender or stand mixer, that might be kept visible on the counter and used often, I could see dropping $400 or even $700 on.

But this thing doesn't appear generally useful based on what I've seen about this story. It seems to want to lock you into using food from a particular vendor.

How much less appealing would my stand mixer have been as a purchase if it were outfitted with a QR reader looking to make sure that the KitchenAid cookie dough I was giving it was fresh? That would be a deal breaker.

28
3xnis 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought this was silly until I read this point [1]:

>No prep. No mess. No clean up.

That's brilliant because people don't like cleaning. Cleaning regular juicers is annoying to the point that only few people use them regularly. There are enough people with money to spare that this can become a success. I haven't seen it mentioned, so let me spell it out: This is Nespresso for fruits.

[1]: https://www.juicero.com/how-it-works/

28
Pattern Matching for Java java.net
369 points by steve_barham  6 days ago   145 comments top 34
1
peeters 6 days ago 3 replies      
IMO this is the biggest thing available to modern languages that Java is missing. I would absolutely love to see this, particularly pattern decomposition. I wonder if you could do it without something analogous to Scala's sealed classes though--you really want your type checker to be able to assert every match has considered every branch (without having to specify a "default" everywhere). That means you need to be able to mark classes as not-dynamically-extendible, so the type checker has the full set of subtypes available.

Edit: Just got to the bottom of the article. Looks like sealed hierarchies is exactly what they explore.

2
lacampbell 6 days ago 7 replies      
Why the fixation on pattern matching? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the benefit it provides, but for OO code multiple dispatch is a more elegant and idiomatic way to solve the "I don't want to implement the visitor pattern" problem.

FYI, I recently found out that C# can actually do multiple dispatch

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/shawnhar/2011/04/05/visitor...

3
tybit 5 days ago 1 reply      
I was originally very happy to hear pattern matching was coming to C#, but I don't think it is actually that useful a feature without discriminated unions/sum types too.
4
kodablah 6 days ago 0 replies      
"How we declare the destructuring pattern in the AddNode class, or declare AddNode so that it implicitly acquires one, will be covered in a separate document."

Please use a Scala unapply() and not just constructor parameters. The former gives much more latitude to build patterns.

I have a ton more to say about all of this having written in Scala and Kotlin extensively. I'll just say that it is useful they are already thinking about new variable assignment to parts of matches and NOT concerning themselves w/ "smart casts".

5
raspasov 6 days ago 1 reply      
Pattern matching is possibly one of the most under-utilized approaches that can simplify a lot of ugly/complex logic.
6
cromwellian 5 days ago 1 reply      
To me the biggest missing features are not this but:

* heredoc/multiline string/embedded interpolated strings* concise array, map, and object literal initializers. * structural/anonymous types

Simple things like multivalue return become an exercise in boilerplate in Java. As much as I like Immutables.org or @AutoValue, I should be able to return a struct or use destructuring operations at the callsite.

The hack in Java is to use annotation processors to provide nice fluent builder patterns, but really the language should have first class support for this.

7
evdev 6 days ago 3 replies      
IMO the hierarchy of need for this goes:

1 - case classes / value classes / data classes, whatever you want to call them.

2 - match-and-bind syntax

...

11? - fancy pattern matching

This maybe says more about how much I pay attention to what's upstream in Java, but I found the fact that this is just a hypothetical proposal, in April of 2017, strangely shocking. I guess I figured it had to be on the docket for a future java version already.

8
rattray 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently thinking through the design of a pattern-matching feature for JavaScript, through a superset I'm building called LightScript[0].

I liked that this article laid out the specific options and various shades of gray that can constitute parts of "pattern matching".

I'm curious for thoughts on a syntax like this:

 x = match y: case > 3: () => "it's bigger than three" case 2: () => "it's strictly equal to two" case Integer: (x) => `some int smaller than two: ${x}` case String: (s) => `some string: ${s}` case Array: ([ first, ...rest ]) => `a list starting with ${first}` case Object: ({ a, b }) => `an object with property a: ${a}` 
This is somewhat more difficult given that even when using Flow or TypeScript, there's relatively little type granularity available at runtime.

Any thoughts?

[0] http://lightscript.org

9
rdnetto 6 days ago 1 reply      
Would be really great to see this make it's way into the language. Here are some ways I've found to work around its absence:* adding a match() function to a common base type. So if it could have subtypes Foo(x), Bar(y, z), then the signature would look like:

 <T> T match(Function<X, T> foo, BiFunction<Y, Z, T> bar);
* in the cases where I don't have control over the common base type, I've written a builder pattern that constructs a sequence of predicate-function pairs and applies them appropriately. This looks like so:

 new PatternMatchingHelper() .append(Foo.class, foo -> doSomething(foo.x)) .append(Bar.class, bar -> doSomethingElse(bar.y, bar.z)) .otherwise(x -> fallbackValue()) .apply(objectOfUnknownType);
The main disadvantage here is that it doesn't work well with generics, because the class objects have raw types.

You could probably extend the second approach to get something close to the arbitrary predicates that pattern matching would provide, but the syntax wouldn't be nearly a clean as having it in the language.

10
flavor8 6 days ago 3 replies      
Any substantial differences from Scala's implementation? From what I remember of Odersky's book it seems very similar if not identical. (Which is fine - I'm all for Java incorporating the best parts of Scala.)
11
tannhaeuser 6 days ago 0 replies      
If you like pattern matching, you'll love it's generalization into Prolog unification as explained in eg. [1].

[1]: http://www.amzi.com/AdventureInProlog/a10unif.php

12
nightmunnas 6 days ago 0 replies      
I really really like these suggestions. Especially the first parts where I have found myself writing a lot of instance-of-cast and just marvel at how much clutter it actually adds without adding more description to the code. I do also ponder if there is a limit to how much we should potentially shorten the expressions, not to make the expressions extremely dense it understanding. The last opinion is just taste though, admittedly.
13
dkarl 6 days ago 1 reply      
I feel these new language features that get grafted onto Java end up awkward and unpleasant to use. Java is still Java, and it exacts a stiff awkwardness tax for writing code in a style different from how Java OO was envisioned 15-20 years ago. The examples in the linked article look fine, but the difference between pattern matching as "possible direction" and pattern matching as "new language feature" could easily end up like the difference between Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane and Orson Welles as Falstaff.

I wonder if Oracle could create some excitement around the platform by creating or adopting a new language as an official repla^D^D^D^D^D "new member of the family" to implicitly succeed Java just like C# replaced Visual Basic for most use cases. Java could be kept around as a sop to die-hards like VB.NET was. It's great that the JVM allows a thousand flowers to bloom, but it's not great that the only "official" choice on the JVM is a language that hasn't been able to evolve very far from its 1990s roots.

14
megawatthours 5 days ago 1 reply      
You can do this in Java using derive4j: https://github.com/derive4j/derive4j.

It generates code for algebraic data types which offer a typesafe interface similar to the `case` statements in languages that natively support pattern matching.

15
stickfigure 6 days ago 1 reply      
The syntax still looks tedious compared to Ceylon:

 if (is String name) { // compiler knows 'name' is String in this block print(name); } else { print("some other text"); }
Why declare a new variable? The Ceylon syntax works great with union types too.

16
scadge 5 days ago 0 replies      
Along with with Value Types [1] Java 10 could be an even more significant improvement than Java 8 was :)

[1] http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~jrose/values/values-0.html

17
gjmacd 5 days ago 0 replies      
Jeez, seems like overkill when you get that free in more modern of stacks. Move to Elixir. Pattern matching is done right and it's brilliantly designed. I understand that if you're having to maintain Java applications, but why anybody would stomach a NEW project on that behemoth is beyond me. I'm not just talking about performance, I'm talking about object topology BS, complicated libraries, etc. Java (for me now) seems like it's bolted on to the Web and simply doesn't have it's place as a Web stack. My opinion of course but with the great amount of stacks out there -- I don't get the fascination.
18
cestith 6 days ago 1 reply      
How about...

 instanceOf x is? { Int { System.out.println("It's an Int"); } String { System.out.println("Hello, " + x); } _default { System.out.println("This type is not explicitly named here."); } }
And if you don't want the type, the value of any other method, function, or attribute could be checked by "is?" or whatever syntax token you want there.

Further tests could be saved for within those blocks to save complexity.

What's odd though is that in Java this particular example seems to want multi-method. Testing the type explicitly and acting on it is more akin to duck-typed language programming. You see this pattern pretty often in Perl for example. If I want to write in Perl, I typically reach for Perl.

19
thinkmoore 5 days ago 0 replies      
There is some very cool language design work from Chinawat Isradisaikul and Andrew C. Myers at Cornell on adding very powerful matching constructs to a Java-like language.

Paper: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~chinawat/papers/pldi13-p343-israd...Slides: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~chinawat/papers/chin-pldi13-slide...

20
idsout 6 days ago 0 replies      
I would love to see this land in Java. Pattern matching is one of my favorite features of Rust.
21
zastrowm 6 days ago 0 replies      
Reading this reminded me of all the discussions that took/are taking place for pattern matching in C#[0]; reading this I had the same reactions that I did for C#: cool stuff. It's also nice to see the languages reach parity in features; I only hope the two language committees pay attention to the research/feedback that the other receives.

[0]: https://github.com/dotnet/roslyn/issues/10153

22
seanalltogether 6 days ago 0 replies      
"Finally, the above code is less optimizable; absent compiler heroics, it will have O(n) time complexity, even though the underlying problem is often O(1)."

Is this addressed with pattern matching?

23
rbjorklin 5 days ago 1 reply      
How does Vavr's (formerly Javaslang) pattern matching hold up? http://www.vavr.io/
24
legulere 5 days ago 0 replies      
Java already has simple pattern matching with exceptions (try {throw ...} catch ...). It's surprisingly ergonomic, even though it's just a hack
25
kahnjw 6 days ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: I recently wrote a similar piece exploring pattern matching in Javascript http://jarrodkahn.com/posts/6/slug/
26
kpil 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is nice. But I think my number one feature would be first-class relationships in object oriented languages.
27
cschep 6 days ago 0 replies      
Looks quite Swift-like. Seems like a big win all around for pattern matching to become more "main stream".
28
leifg 5 days ago 1 reply      
Am I missing something or can most of the examples just be achieved with method overloading?
29
guelo 6 days ago 1 reply      
Really great proposal. Is this conversation in relation to Java 10 or just pie in the sky?
30
chvid 5 days ago 1 reply      
I honestly don't need this feature.

Am I really the only one?

Or do you all just have buckets of source code filled with if instanceof then cast just screaming for this language feature?

31
loukrazy 6 days ago 0 replies      
ITT at least 3 JavaScript libraries to do this.

Also how the heck do you destructure Java objects with private fields without resorting to bean accessors?

32
siddharthbhola 5 days ago 1 reply      
good approach taken from scala programming language. makes things simpler and shorter.
33
nikolay 6 days ago 2 replies      
Really?! exprswitch?! Unreadable and long!
34
jiaweihli 6 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in exploring pattern matching, I've created a Javascript/TypeScript library dedicated to it. [0]

You can see it live! [1]

[0] https://github.com/jiaweihli/rematch

[1] https://runkit.com/jiaweihli/57db70d841de7f1400d64f73

29
Exercise 'keeps the mind sharp' in over-50s, study finds bbc.co.uk
298 points by sjcsjc  19 hours ago   224 comments top 21
1
zeteo 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Looking at the funnel plot in fig. 3 in the linked meta-analysis [1], the high precision studies (standard error < 0.268) are clustered around an effect size of 0. The overall positive effect derives exclusively from the medium and low-precision studies, with several visible outliers well to the right influencing the mean significantly. The medium and low-precision studies had problems with one or more of the following:

"randomisation; allocation concealment; blinding of therapists (intervention supervisors); blinding of participants; blinding of outcome assessors; handling of incomplete data (use of intention-to-treat analysis); selective reporting and any other risk of bias." [1]

Also, the result was only statistically significant for poor quality control groups that didn't engage in any shared activity:

"When the control group involved either no contact (eg, waiting list, usual care; p<0.01) or education (eg, computer course, health lectures; p=0.01) the estimate was statistically significant. Where the control condition was exposed to an active control (eg, stretching; p=0.17) or social group (p=0.62), the effect size was still positive but no longer statistically significant." [1]

In summary, a few poor quality studies with large bias account for most if not all of the effect reported in this meta-analysis.

[1] http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/30/bjsports-2016-0...

2
theprop 15 hours ago 4 replies      
Do not say you're too busy to exercise. Your productivity is much higher when you exercise. Do not say you're too old to exercise. The older you are, the more crucial it is. Get in the habit. Start with even just 2 intense minutes a day. Once you're in the habit, you'll work out longer.
3
dvcrn 15 hours ago 31 replies      
My problem with exercise is simply time. There are a million things I want to do and with a 10-7 work shift, I just can't do much.

Staying 30 minutes longer happens easily so it's 7:30. Commuting to the gym would take another 20-30. 1h in the gym and it's 9 (or later). Commuting an hour home and it's 10. Go to supermarket, maybe cook something up and it could easily be 11 already. This leaves 1-2h max to do anything else, given I am not dead from the gym. Now spinning up the brain to focus on something creative also needs a bit of time.

Morning gym is hard as well. All gyms around my home open from 9:30/10:00 which is when I have to be on the way to the office already.

So the time slots that are free are very competitive. Pick one: Do I go to the gym? Do I watch a movie with the gf? Do I program? Do I learn the next grammar chapter? Do I work on other hobbies that I've been putting off too long? Do I meet friends and catch up on social life?

To be honest, this 'problem' makes me currently think of switching into a part time job, just so I have more time for the things I actually care about. (Part time remote for optimum happiness but that might be impossible to come by)

4
H1Supreme 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing helps me tackle a tough programming problem like a nice, long bike ride. Is it grueling at times? Of course. Are my legs burning by the end? Usually. But, hard physical activity is the perfect way to clear my mind.

Plus, the fact that your body will go to shit if you don't exercise. Before I started lifting weights approx 10 years ago, I had back aches from sitting in an office chair all day. After regular, challenging, weight training, those problems vanished. Why? Because my muscles are strong now.

If you don't use your muscles, they soon because worthless, and painful. It's amazing how much stronger you get in a short amount of time as a beginner in weight training.

You don't like exercising? Boo hoo, no one does. I'd much rather eat pizza and drink beer than put 30 miles on my bike. But, I know it's important, so I suck it up and go. Even when I absolutely don't want to.

5
ck425 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Does anyone else worry about staying fit as an office worker? As much as I enjoy my career, I might give serious consideration to moving into something more physical in future. While you can easily fit in a decent amount of exercise outside of work if you only work 40 hours, it strikes me as much more efficient to make your work exercise in and off itself. I spent one summer working as a software engineer intern with 6 weeks in between working at a summer camp where I was on my feet all day every day. When I got back to the office my mood and focus were sky high compared to before but I never had to try to do exercise at summer camp, the job itself just was exercise.
6
spodek 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Saying that exercise keeps the mind sharp normalizes not exercising.

I prefer to think of exercise as normal and sitting around as the mind-dulling deviation. I would say:

Not exercising can dull the mind.

or

A sedentary lifestyle instead of getting your heart pumping can dull the mind.

7
oblio 19 hours ago 5 replies      
"Mens sana in corpore sano", says 10000th study :)

The real question: is there anyone out there that really debates that exercising constantly = better, longer life?

8
2845197541 18 hours ago 8 replies      
On one side of my family retirement for my grandparents meant long days vegetating in front of the television with little dogs to pet. Church on Sundays were really their only time out. This brought dementia by age 80 and a host of other issues and they are on their way out. On the other side my grandfather plays basketball, golfs, runs, reads a book every few days, even drinks at a bar. No dementia. Sharp as a tack. Dare I say... no church.
9
clumsysmurf 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Somewhat related, today I read

"Researchers found that the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424141340.h...

10
Mankhool 11 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who is in his fifties, and just took my first real break from the gym in 40 years (2 months off) I can easily say I don't miss it. I still walk to/from work, which is about a 12km round trip, 5 times a week.

And although I have considered never picking up a weight again, I know the benefits of weight bearing exercise and so, sometime this year, will go back to they gym, but less frequently and for a shorter duration.

And never forget that 50% of your health is nutrition.

11
mike_ivanov 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Or - there is a confounding factor that makes people both sharp and willing to exercise.
12
nepotism2016 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I hate direct exercising, ie running around my local area or going to the gym. However what I do love is participating in activities which require exercising; mountain biking, table tennis, football, hiking and badminton. I love all of these sports for its social benefits and most of the time I forget I'm exercising :)
13
js2 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Recent study ("Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity"):

Abstract: Running is a popular and convenient leisure-time physical activity (PA) with a significant impact on longevity. In general, runners have a 25%40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately 3 years longer than non-runners. Recently, specific questions have emerged regarding the extent of the health benefits of running versus other types of PA, and perhaps more critically, whether there are diminishing returns on health and mortality outcomes with higher amounts of running. This review details the findings surrounding the impact of running on various health outcomes and premature mortality, highlights plausible underlying mechanisms linking running with chronic disease prevention and longevity, identifies the estimated additional life expectancy among runners and other active individuals, and discusses whether there is adequate evidence to suggest that longevity benefits are attenuated with higher doses of running.

Conclusion: There is compelling evidence that running provides significant health benefits for the prevention of chronic diseases and premature mortality regardless of sex, age, body weight, and health conditions. There are strong plausible physiological mechanisms underlying how running can improve health and increase longevity. Running may be the most cost-effective lifestyle medicine from public health perspective, more important than other lifestyle and health risk factors such as smoking, obesity, HTN, and DM. It is not clear, however, how much running is safe and efficacious and whether it is possible to perform an excessive amount of exercise. Also, running may have the most public health benefits, but is not the best exercise for everyone since orthopedic or other medical conditions can restrict its use by many individuals.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033062017...

NYT reporting on the study ("An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life"):

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/well/move/an-hour-of-runn...

14
readhn 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Can a person overcome lack of exercise by eating healthy?

Can a person overcome lack of good nutrition by exercising regularly ?

Exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition IMO. People who exercise tend to eat better and healthier foods.

If someone did not exercise routinely - they could easily improve their health by eating properly!

What is more important? healthy nutrition or regular physical activity or both?!

* And dont forget about about sleep!!!

15
pavfarb 18 hours ago 1 reply      
So that's why Taleb deadlifts like a madman.
16
agumonkey 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder about travel too. My mind buzzes whenever I'm a new environment.

I now wonder about walking far...

17
mycoborea 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Purely anecdotal: I'm in my early 30s and find a brisk run to have a huge positive effect on my mental function and general energy levels for the rest of my day (I work in biotech and spend half my day in the lab, half behind a screen). In fact, I noticed this difference my very first (pitiful) day of running.
18
Myrmornis 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm 39 and I can't do anything with my brain nowadays after exercising, so I'm looking forward to that changing when I get to 50.
19
vixen99 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I found "Spark! How exercise will improve the performance of your brain" (Ratey/Hagerman) to be a good popular summary of research in this field. (No connection with the authors!).
20
posterboy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
correlation causation fallicy anyone?
21
ruleabidinguser 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Meh. I'll take the shitty brain.
30
Alphabet's Self-Driving Cars to Get Their First Real Riders bloomberg.com
310 points by rayuela  12 hours ago   373 comments top 5
1
jonmc12 9 hours ago 12 replies      
Am I the only one feeling the press + big tech narrative of "driverless vehicles = safety" is way ahead of itself? OK, "driver error is blamed for 94% of crashes", but what is the validation strategy to show where driverless cars can quantifiably improve? In 2016, Philip Koopman of CMU discusses that there are non-trivial engineering challenges of achieving safety in NHTSA Level 4 vehicle automation: https://users.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/pubs/koopman16_sae_autono...

If we are building the safest transportation system, what role do driverless vehicles play? Wouldn't that be the narrative that actually saves the most lives?

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tyingq 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Is Waymo clear about what the end goal is? I can't tell if they plan to launch an Uber like service, or a direct-to-consumer lease type service, or just to be suppliers (whole vehicles, components like lidar, software) to companies like Uber. Or maybe they are leaving all of that undecided for now?

I'm not sure this rider trial thing strongly signals any of them. You would want real world end-customer experiences regardless, I would think.

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KKKKkkkk1 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Is there really a race to build self-driving cars? It seems that Waymo is eons ahead of everyone else.
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ChuckMcM 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So now what do we tell our kids? "Don't get into a van even when nobody is driving it." ? :-)

I think it is great that they are getting additional exposure to nominally real world users here. However, I'm not exactly sure what they are learning in user behaviors. Is it "Can we make a less expensive livery service?" or is it "How freaked out do people get in self driving cars?" or is it something else?

I went to a conference last week where there were several talks that were pretty critical of self driving 'hype' given the HLS[1] issues and the ability to inexpensively 'spoof' the AI[2] to see something that isn't actually there (road signs being particularly vulnerable). It left me thinking I might be more optimistic about the technology than I should be.

[1] "Health, Life, Safety" the general basket of things that are super critical to minimizing injury and death.

[2] https://www.theverge.com/2016/11/3/13507542/facial-recogniti... -- on Facial Recognition but sign recognition has the same problem.

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kyrra 11 hours ago 4 replies      
TLDR:

* People can apply to use/borrow a Waymo vehicle (RX450 or Pacifica) for some period of time.

* "as part of this early trial, there will be a test driver in each vehicle monitoring the rides at all times."

* Limited to Phoenix metro area for the time being.

* You apply here: https://waymo.com/apply/

* Waymo will be adding 500 more of the Pacifica minivans for this program.

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