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Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O. nytimes.com
2090 points by java_script  2 days ago   1284 comments top 112
Animats 2 days ago  replies      
This may kill Uber. Kalanick is a jerk, but he created that insane valuation. Uber has less than a year of runway left at their current burn rate. Unless they can find a bigger sucker than the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia,[1] they're going broke in 2018. (That "undisclosed amount" in 2017 isn't a significant investment on Uber's scale.)

IPO? No way. They'd have to publish audited numbers. What's leaked out is bad enough. The real numbers have to be worse. Notice that leveraged loan in 2016.[2] All the details of that have to be disclosed in the prospectus for an IPO.

[1] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/uber/funding-rounds[2] https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/07/new-reports-confirm-1-15b-...

davidf18 1 day ago 28 replies      
Much of the resistance to Uber (such as laws that were broken, protests) were from entrenched interests. At least where I live in NYC, Uber was dramatically improving customer value while providing innovations that reduced greenhouse gas. It provided completion for the entrenched Yellow Cab monopoly with its very high rates. Sometimes Uber would have higher rates but then you could take a Yellow Cab instead.

The Yellow Cab special interests paid off politicians so that there was a limit of 13,000 Yellow Cab medallions for 8.5 million people. The price of the taxi medallion was $1.2 million. While people in Manhattan could get a taxi, there were no taxis in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, ... Because of the artificial limit on medallions which only benefited medallion owner but not New Yorkers, a driver leasing a cab for a 12 hour shift could pay $125 just to lease the car.

When Uber and Lyft came, the rates were lower, one could use Uber Pool to have even lower rates and save on greenhouse gas. Now taxi services have some availability outside of Manhattan. Now many Yellow Cabs are idle and the value of the medallions went for $1.2 million to about $700,000 or less.

In NYC, the Yellow Cab medallion owners tried to get the mayor to put restrictions on the growth of Uber/Lyft, but New Yorkers protested.

Uber/Lyft have increased customer value, lowered greenhouse gasses while not forcing drivers to pay excessing leasing fees for vehicles.

naskwo 2 days ago 11 replies      
A few weeks ago, I posted on HN about my experience in Hamburg (no Uber in Germany. The local taxi authority has its own app which works equally well, if not better).

Last weekend, I was in Budapest. There is no Uber in Hungary (anymore), but the main taxi company (Ftaxi) has its own app which works brilliantly.

I honestly see no "moat" around Uber in markets where (large) taxi dispatchers have the insight to build a ride-hailing app.

It's only a matter of time before we are back to square 1, or rather, square 2.0:

* licensed, regulated taxis, either independent or through dispatcher* all connected to an (api-)interconnected ecosystem of ride hailing apps* payment to driver directly (cash or card), tipping discretionary* receipts emailed to rider afterwards, with annotated map and start- and end time

This will weed out dishonest drivers, and will benefit honest drivers.

Uber's only differentiator in well-organised urban markets is its app.

The turning point for Uber's decline will be when NY and London mirror Uber's functionality in their own apps, with the benefit (in London) of cabs being allowed to use the cab lanes (or, in Amsterdam, the bus lanes).

kevinburke 2 days ago 10 replies      
According to the article 5 different VC firms representing 40% of the voting shares asked him to resign today. Kalanick still controls the majority of voting shares and a board seat.

Most of Kalanick's trouble started with Susan Fowler speaking out. Please believe women when they report harassment in the workplace. Many of their reports may not be as clear cut as Mrs. Fowler's.

rmason 2 days ago 17 replies      
Hope everyone's paying attention to the identity of these investors behind this horrid behavior. Travis is not without his flaws but he created an awful lot of value for them.

They pressure him into taking a sabbatical, then two days in they pull this cowardly act of firing him remotely. Not only was it a cowardly act, but it was the wrong thing to do for the business. It will lead to an epic destruction of value.

Worst business move since Apple's board (with John Sculley's behind the scenes string pulling) fired Steve Jobs. How well did that work out for Apple's shareholders at the time?

Travis Kalanick needed to change but do you really think that running Uber by committee is going to work? Guess it's time to try Lyft.

goseeastarwar 2 days ago 3 replies      
Founder CEO's do not resign, they are fired.

The article skips over the board entirely, but Travis must have been blindsided by his co-founder Garret Camp and early CEO Ryan Graves for this to have transpired. The board likely threatened to fire him unless he resigned, because there's no way Travis walks away because of this investor letter. It's more than likely the letter just provided the air cover his old friends needed to send him packing.

edit: For those replying that Travis has control of the board, please cite your sources. Being the majority shareholder using dual-class stock is a much different thing. Shareholders elect board members, but you can't remove investors' board seats, that language is boilerplate in financing documents.

Uber does not need the backing of the investors from the letter to remain solvent. With the exception of Fidelity, these aren't big players. Hundreds would take their place immediately given the chance.

acjohnson55 2 days ago 1 reply      
I, for one, will consider using Uber again. It is very important to me to see a change in leadership. I simply couldn't square my use of the app with the sense that Uber was deeply unethical, starting from the top.

Also, it's so disappointing to see so many people buy into the cult of personality of the Startup Founder. There's a lot of half-baked reasoning going on on why Uber's fate should be inexorable tied to Travis. So far, the two main arguments I've seen are "because Steve Jobs" and "he raised so much money for them". Neither one of these are compelling in explaining why Uber's survival prospects should be further damaged by a change at the top.

The only argument that's compelling to me is the concept that they've built their whole business on unethical assholery and it's going to take a lot of time and energy to reorient a big company around a different M.O. But even that's not very compelling, because it presumes that there aren't a whole lot of people already there who would flourish in a healthy, ethical work environment. I know a number of people there who feel that way.

flyosity 2 days ago 12 replies      
If Uber ends up going down in flames, unable to recover from the scandals and lawsuits, and Lyft prevails, it will be the most incredible change of fate in the business world this century or perhaps longer.

The future of automobiles and transportation is still being swirled about, and it feels like Uber's downfall has blown the game WIDE open, ready for anyone (maybe Uber, maybe Lyft, maybe Tesla, Google, Apple, an automaker) to just step in and take all the riches.

fnovd 2 days ago 1 reply      
>Mr. Kalanick last week said he would take an indefinite leave of absence from Uber, partly to work on himself and to grieve for his mother, who died last month in a boating accident. He said Ubers day-to-day management would fall to a committee of more than 10 executives.

>In the letter, titled Moving Uber Forward and obtained by The New York Times, the investors wrote to Mr. Kalanick that he must immediately leave and that the company needed a change in leadership.

>In the letter, in addition to Mr. Kalanicks immediate resignation, the five shareholders asked for improved oversight of the companys board by filling two of three empty board seats with truly independent directors. They also demanded that Mr. Kalanick support a board-led search committee for a new chief executive, and that Uber immediately hire an experienced chief financial officer.

>"I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight, Mr. Kalanick said in a statement.

Apparently a 10-executive committee of indeterminate duration wasn't going to suit the board's needs. Taken along with the immediate CFO search, it sounds like Uber simply does not have the time to let Travis sort out both Uber's culture issue and his own personal issues before things start to go sour. Unfortunate timing as I think that, had the accident not happened, Travis would have been able to turn things around. When it rains, it pours.

muglug 2 days ago 1 reply      
This proves that speaking out makes a difference.

Edit: HN discussion of Susan J. Fowler's original blog post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13682022

slice_of_life 2 days ago 3 replies      
Pushing a founder out is often a bad idea. This might very well be the beginning of Uber's demise. This won't be good for the company.

All CEOs make mistakes even great ones like Gates with antitrust or Zuck calling users dumb-fucks. They weren't kicked out, they instead were allowed to come into their own.

There's a distinct fire that a founder has for the company they founded. You can't hire that. Without this fire at the early stages of a company, the company will likely lose out to competitors like Lyft.

A hiatus is one thing but kicking a founder out is simply bad.

Mark my word and take that to the bank. This was a bad move.

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Think about this the next time you're putting up with bad behavior at work. Susan Fowler ultimately lost her job and went through painful criticisms for speaking out, but she did kick off a lot of change at the company.

Think about this the next time you're tolerating bad behavior on the part of your employees. A number of people lost their jobs in the resulting firestorm but that fire reached right up to the top.

Think about this the next time you're considering investing in a company where the leadership team plays fast and loose with law. Disruption is important, but principles are just as important. If the leadership team gets their advantage by not following the rules that others do, watch for them to not follow the rules that they should as well.

pshin45 2 days ago 3 replies      
Travis Kalanick's words to that Uber driver back in Feb 2017 are very ironic now in retrospect:

"Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else."

pavlakoos 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks good for Uber. Right now Uber needs operational and financial stability. Something Kalanick apparently didn't know how to provide. So moving him aside is good.

Also, I think investors forced him out by saying they will finance next round only if Kalanick is gone. And they need more investment, because losing $2bn a year makes them run out of cash soon and inevitably.

Still - Kalanick and his co-founder friends have a control over a board, so theoretically Kalanick can get his ass back as CEO as soon as he wants. If he wants...

The Kalanick-VCs deal might have another background. To cut those $2bn annual losses, Uber needs to change financially. Those changes will hit customers (prices will increase) and drivers (their pay and benefits decrease). So Uber needs an interim manager to introduce them - a "bad guy", who can take the "blame" for it. A change, that will not hit Kalanick's reputation.

But it's all good. Uber will continue to grow. The service is just too good.

khazhoux 2 days ago 3 replies      
As the adage goes, sometimes the startup CEO for the first $70 billion, is not the same as for the next $70 billion.
treebeard901 1 day ago 1 reply      
One thing that strikes me as strange is how we have had a persistent release of negative information about Uber through many different kinds of media outlets for the past few months.

This is not meant to cast doubt on the problems at Uber highlighted in these reports.

However, It seems like the drip of negative information was intentional, perhaps with the goal of having him resign.

Uber was guilty in the public eye almost immediately.

Even today the media narrative is that this is good for Silicon Valley culture as a whole. Implicit in this line of thinking is that most SV companies have the same culture problems. I find that to be troubling and largely incorrect.

sidcool 2 days ago 3 replies      
Did Susan Fowler's article start this fire? If so, it's an incredible and inspiring story every victim of harrassment should follow. Thanks Susan.
mattlondon 2 days ago 1 reply      
All this talk about Lyft becoming the new Uber is perhaps a bit unrealistic.

Apart from in SF, I've never found Lyft available anywhere I've been (although I understand it is operating on other parts of the US).

To momentarily sing-praises of Uber: the same app, the same login, the same card just works internationally pretty much where ever I have gone on work and vacations regardless of currencies etc - morals aside it is a slick service - but so far I've not been able to use a single Lyft ride because they dont seem to be available apart from the US.

Please come to London & the EU Lyft! I dont want to use Uber due to their well-publicised issues but there is no alternative apart from "old world" solutions.

HappyTypist 2 days ago 1 reply      
Susan J. Fowler's blog post started the snowball that led to the firing of a $70 billion startup's CEO.

I hope this encourages more people to publicly report systematic cultures of sexual harassment.

schlumpf 2 days ago 0 replies      
How could the board kick out a CEO founder given the vertiginous increase in equity valuations said founder presided over? Because those valuations are only meaningful to end investors (i.e. the LPs) when shareholders experience positive cash flow. At Uber the opposite is happening. Why shouldn't we assume, then, that the board realizes Uber is headed for a fatal pinch[0] and has acted accordingly?

Bloomberg in April reported[1] Uber's cumulative cash burn at US$8 bn since its founding in 2009. You can argue that Travis Kalanick presided over rising valuations but so far there is no evidence of an increase in book value per share. Conversely that cash burn risks being crystallized as "value destruction" if revenue growth stalls.

The alleged personnel issues, the lawsuit, the bad press -- they are history and the firm has no choice but to cope with them. But failing to improve net margin can be quickly fatal and if that is happening then the other issues remain relevant. TK, who also presided over those, becomes part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

[0] http://paulgraham.com/pinch.html[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-14/embattled...

TheRealmccoy 2 days ago 3 replies      
Susan Fowler is the giant killer of this century.


shubhamjain 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do VCs care more about public perception than long-term health of the company? Uber has been in the news for all the wrong reasons but thinking from the VCs POV, I doubt there is a better person to run Uber than TK. The company's monopoly is still precarious and I have a feeling that without a CEO like TK, the fate looks like a combination of retreating from markets, heavy losses, and a huge drop in valuation.
throwaway5752 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have no idea why everyone is going on about Fowler/harassment scandals.

He should have been fired by the board for the results of the Otto acquisition and the handling of Waymo lawsuit, and that was probably a much larger factor.

dvt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not unsurprising, as Uber really is trying to grow up, and Travis Kalanik has been the silicon valley poster boy for a bit too long. I still think he did a phenomenal job, not only launching a successful startup, but creating an international cultural movement.

I wonder who will take his place, and, more importantly, I wonder if Uber will continue winning.

pishpash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Uber is just shooting itself in the foot at this point. The few things it did get right, no tipping and market-driven pricing, are being rolled away. Then it would truly have no advantage.
rahimnathwani 2 days ago 1 reply      
"investors could lose billions of dollars if the company were to be marked down in valuation."

The writer has it backwards. Investors would mark down an asset because it's worth less. The asset doesn't lose value by virtue of being marked down.

ebola1717 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kara Swisher's podcast had an excellent episode on Uber that did a great job surveying this firestorm, and defending Travis' business direction, without exonerating his leadership's many flaws. Definitely worth a listen.
danso 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, makes me want to skim over the original Susan Fowler thread to see if anyone predicted this happening [0]. Her allegations of course weren't the only problem Uber faced but it sure seemed to cause other previously overlooked issues and complaints to gain real resonance.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13682022

dawhizkid 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a former Uber employee (left 6 mo ago) this is shocking. Can't imagine who will step in...
openmosix 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just a few years ago, Uber was the place to be, the startup to imitate. How many Uber for X pitches did we see? The entire story makes me sad (not the resignation, that was kind of expected) - Uber was an icon of "disruption" and of challenging the status quo. Now, it's just a sad story and people prefer to not be associated with it.
jaypaulynice 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow...Travis Kalanick has his flaws, but come on, he will come back bigger just like Steve Jobs. That hurts! A company like Uber needs an aggressive CEO, not a pushover CEO...this is one reason why investors kill companies.

I see this happen so many times, a company takes too much investment, the CEO is replaced, then the company dies within a year...

cgeier 2 days ago 3 replies      
Somewhat off-topic:

Why is something like Uber called ride-sharing to begin with? I'm not sharing my ride with anyone that coincidentally wants to travel (more or less) the same route as me. I pay somebody to drive their car first to me, and then some other place.

This is called a taxi or cab [1], there Uber is a taxi company.

At least in Germany, there used to be actual ride-sharing systems, of which the best one used to be mitfahrzentrale.de, where people would advertise what route they were planing to drive (and when) and other people could "book" a seat on that route. I don't know if some others still exist, I haven't used them in years.

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

erikb 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am really disappointed that another article discusses a power struggle without mentioning the power struggle.

Something like this is nearly always a power struggle. That the accusations may be valid is just showing that the people attaining power have a higher chance in this situation. It doesn't change the fact that it is a power struggle.

So who are the people taking over? For an news paper that shouldn't be hard to figure out. Who are the three new guys? They are 100% sure linked to the group taking over. They are certainly not "neutral". Who is likely to become the new CEO? This guy is certainly the leader of the coup or a puppet.

curiousDog 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow! Looks like the investors really want their money back now and are pushing hard for an IPO.
bobbles 2 days ago 0 replies      
When any story about your company needs a tagline like 'embattled CEO blah blah blah' it might be time to step back
consultSKI 2 days ago 1 reply      
People make a difference. Uber has a lot of execution left to master and without Kalanick and the other key players that have left the company, the odds are now definitely not in its favor. And yes, the self-driving car play was a brilliant fund raising play (leveraging the news of the amazing advances by Tesla) but a terrible waste of limited resources. It is acceptable to outsource such projects. Or to make strategic alliances. Business is most often a series of trade-offs. Startups more so.
Pandabob 2 days ago 4 replies      
Would Marissa Mayer be a good fit for Uber CEO? Given that she just resigned from Yahoo, one would think the board would at least consider her. Unless they're going to choose the next CEO from within the company.
innopreneur 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if it would have been difficult to get his (or convince him for) resignation if he wouldn't have been in grieving phase, considering his history of retaliation ?
paul7986 2 days ago 0 replies      
Happy to see this as Uber allowed and per their PR laughed at it's users' back accounts getting hacked/losing money.

I had 1k stolen from my bank account via Uber and after my research showed...

- THey knew about these hacks happening ...about ten or more people a day

- Their PR was it's the users fault for choosing a weak password vs. doing a press release letting users know they need to change their passwords and offering 2 way verification

- You could not and probably still can not outright and quickly cancel your UBer account. No you have to send a message and I waited days to severe all any ties with them.

This happened to me and 1000s of others in 2015 per my search on Twitter then. Then in 2017 you see just how horrible this organization is ... it does not give at ratz ass about anyone who is not a KalaNick bro including employees, customers, drivers.. basically all groups it needs to operate and succeed.

Still wanting it to go down in flames and my 1k back into my bank account!!!

forgottenacc57 2 days ago 3 replies      
He should've stayed. I don't recall bill gates being a good guy.

Being a good guy as requirement for being CEO is a 21st century thing.

rock57 2 days ago 0 replies      
Travis Kalanick might be upset... All the way to the bank, as a holder of huge equity and majority voting power (so he seems to have the capacity to reinstall himself as a CEO when/if he finds it fit) who surely has negotiated nice conditions for himself in any liquidity event.
alexandersingh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know Kalanick, though I've read about how his brashness and "win at all costs" attitude was forged through his past startup failures[1]

If this is true then he is his own worst enemy, and I find it very sad when anyone - no matter how big a jerk you think they are - is trapped in a repeating pattern of negative and destructive behavior.

To be clear: I am not absolving him of his behavior, I'm just observing that the culture comes from the founder and his wounds run deep.

[1] Scour filed for bankruptcy, Red Swoosh was acquired after enormous struggles to keep the company afloat.

thedevil 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to go against the crowd and say that Uber survives as a business for now. They may scale back expansion and they might raise prices. They may even get acquired at a lower valuation. But I bet they'll still be operating.

I think their burn rate is almost surely the result of subsidizing expanding markets. I can't imagine established markets being anything but ludicrously profitable.

Disclaimer: I don't necessarily like Uber, I've never even used them and I know almost nothing about their (former) CEO outside of headlines.

bobjordan 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of lessons to be learned here but I think one of the biggest to remember is - don't send any emails to anyone (even Mom) that you wouldn't want to be published on the front page of the NYT. Let alone to thousands of employees. For example, the yearly event emails that Travis sent from the frat-boy CEO frame of view. The employees probably received it well ahead of the event and likely even an uptick in morale, but in the long term, it is not an email he is proud of sending.
postITcareer 1 day ago 0 replies      
This guy may be a huge asshole.. but he is not anywhere close to why Uber has been having problems.. though I hope his resignation helps the company. Obviously his resignation followed immediately by their "180 days of change" campaign, in app tipping etc.. was a well planned move to get some heat off them
michalu 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the letter, in addition to Mr. Kalanicks immediate resignation, the five shareholders asked for improved oversight of the companys board by filling two of three empty board seats with truly independent directors.

This seems like a narrative to cover their attempt to get more power in the company... Clearly Kalanick has appointed directors on board that are on his side, which is exactly what he should do and the point of shareholder's appointing directors... Of course, investors want their people

andreasgonewild 2 days ago 0 replies      
A-holes take notice, the times are changing. The only name here that deserves to be in history books is Susan J. Fowler's for having the courage to speak up.
jorblumesea 1 day ago 0 replies      
No fan of Kalanick, but letting leadership fall to a 10 executive committee at such a critical moment in Uber's history sounds like a complete disaster. Uber needs to make serious bold moves and I don't think anyone is lined up to make them. My guess is they'll try another funding round, fail at that, then attempt to IPO at an uncertain share price.
postITcareer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Travis was not anywhere close to being responsible for the amount of heat he has taken lately... but this + their 180 days of change, in app tipping and things is good for the company and hopefully will make the drivers a little happier..
ogezi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well this comes as a big surprise. I just thought that he'd be taking a break. I also think that he wasn't forced to resign as much as he thought it'd be the best choice for the company (he probably has majority voter control). Kalanick - because of his super competitive nature - was probably the best person to be CEO during the time he was but maybe its now time for a more matured and seasoned executive to take over. Just my thoughts.
grappler 2 days ago 0 replies      
This story made me think "Maybe I want to finally sign up for an Uber account, after years of avoiding them and using Lyft?"

But then I thought, well, Travis still controls a majority of the votes and he's still on the board.

Others out there who have also been avoiding Uber because of all the bad press, I'm curious how you are thinking about this.

dirtylowprofile 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here in Asia, Uber pricing is too much and our most popular rival is Grab. Now that Jack Ma is planning on investing.


joshmn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there an available API/service that does the trip tracking part of Uber? Of any technical challenge that would present a bunch of clones popping up, I can see that being one of them. The rest is just generating an invoice and accepting a credit card payment. Obviously, not to scale, but for small-medium-sized locales, it could suffice.
notadoc 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this had happened two years ago, would Uber have avoided any of the later negative press?
jchien17 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, I thought he was just going to step away and take a break. Do we know who might replace him?

It's also interesting that the five shareholders mentioned in the NYTimes article want 2 "truly independent directors". What does that mean? Depending on how many board seats there are, maybe two votes aren't enough?

chatmasta 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait to see the next company Travis builds. A few months from now I'm sure he will be feeling the hunger again. And man, talk about carrying a chip on your shoulder. I hope he finds further success in life and learns from his mistakes.
postITcareer 1 day ago 0 replies      
PS I am an Uber/Lyft driver.. never thought I would be but an experiment in hustling up a little extra cash ended up working out great for me
jaydub 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even if he's out as CEO he still will likely wield outsize influence due to his 1) board seat 2) equity stake 3) majority of leadership are presumably his people.

Will be interesting to see who replaces him and whether the company actually changes.

tmcpro 2 days ago 0 replies      
If they were smart they would hire a diplomat like Condoleezza Rice (Dropbox). They have a ton of experience dealing with crisis, external perceptions, government relations, and lobbying on an international level.
webwanderings 2 days ago 0 replies      
So your business depends on me not uninstalling your app by a single click of a button, while you don't even offer anything unique?

And you have crazy valuation which is threatened by your company's culture?

Ah, the modern times!

jamisteven 1 day ago 2 replies      
UBER: Crowdfunding the development of autonomous vehicles by temporarily giving people jobs and keeping all the data collected by the thousands of drivers using its app.
pishpash 2 days ago 1 reply      
The fact that Uber brought in tipping the day it got rid of Kalanick makes me believe it is a money issue. Basically Uber raised prices by 10-20% to match Lyft.
nodesocket 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The investors made their demand for Mr. Kalanick to step down in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago..."

So brutal to be fired from the company you founded and built via a FedEx.

jonwachob91 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does Uber buy lyft just to acquire a relevant management team?
peter_retief 2 days ago 0 replies      
For me its just really sad, I wish him well with new ventures
jonthepirate 2 days ago 0 replies      
For my own selfish interests, I was hoping they would keep him in there for as long as possible. I exercised my Lyft shares and the value is shooting up the moon.
booleanbetrayal 2 days ago 0 replies      
I called a board ousting of Kalanick some 6 months ago. This move is just too late to pull up from the current nosedive. RIP Uber.
tareqak 1 day ago 0 replies      
hnrankings graph of this story: http://hnrankings.info/14600873/ (I'm not affiliated with them, but I think this ranking information is important).
petraeus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Uber is dead in 18 months. I was just in vegas last week and its still filled with taxis, never saw a uber the whole week.
CodeWriter23 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've not been a fan of Kalanick. But I do think he is going to do something really great in the future. Much greater than Uber.
anigbrowl 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seemed inevitable. If the firm is stronger in 24 months then it will lead to a substantial cultural change in the tech industry.
danm07 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not to be wry but how often has kicking out the founder been the solution to VC's problems?
omarforgotpwd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Starting to look like Uber might not be worth $69B. (Tesla is valued at just under $61B today). I wonder who the new CEO will be...
Fricken 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would filling Kalanick's shoes be regarded as the best, or the worst job opening in Silicon Valley?
nether 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope this means the downfall of (fundamentally misogynist) brogrammer culture.
innopreneur 2 days ago 0 replies      
seems like this became the highest rated and commented story in the history of Hacker News...
Whatarethese 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is it really that hard to not sexually harass workers at your place of business?
thrillgore 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't say i'm not surprised, but nothing good will come of this.
eliangidoni 1 day ago 0 replies      
A good CEO knows when to resign ! cheers for him, very humble!
TheRealmccoy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Things in life needs to be taken in totality and not in silos. Whatever Uber has managed to do is creditable, but at what cost?

Being a jerk company?

Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather ride a bullock cart, than avail services of such a company.

forgottenacc57 2 days ago 2 replies      
Finally John Scully will steer the ship in the right direction.

Wait, what?

ungerik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Resigned, or rather has been fired by his investors?
DelTaco 1 day ago 0 replies      
Action Jack Barker to step in? I think the only thing that can save Uber now is the conjoined triangles of success.
futhey 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is another option: Perhaps Travis is just going away for a while, to return when things have quieted down.
bsvalley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Travis, if you're looking for a new adventure - I'm looking for a co-founder. Ping me ;)
jayess 1 day ago 0 replies      
You live by the sword, you die by the sword. But we still need people who live by the sword.
cdevs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Like watching Silicon Valley
nodesocket 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same day they fire Travis, they add tipping. No coincidence there.
kaushalc 2 days ago 0 replies      
lets say this entire harassment thing hadnt blown up , then would Travis still have been fired may be a few months from now?
korzun 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like it or not, the liability of diversifying just went up.

It's clear that the lynch mob of armchair activists will no longer be satisfied when action is taken against the individuals who are directly at fault; they tend to drag everybody they can into this mess and attempt to hold them accountable.

Travis aside, you can't expect engineering managers to ignore what happened and risk their career because somebody in H.R might screw up.

1. You must get involved if you hear anything that could be remotely questionable. Otherwise, you will be the guy who ignored all of the signs and enabled the culture.2. If you get involved, and it turns out to be nothing, you are now harassing a co-worker. It was just an office relationship, and things went sour? It's your fault now.3. Don't get involved? You are an enabler and must be punished.

I was reading a thread on Reddit last week (Things you can no longer do at work, or something like that) and apparently some men are scared to close the meeting room door if they are left alone with a woman these days.

Amazing world we live in today.

dreamdu5t 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow turns if you give me a billion dollars and I burn it that's considered business and entrepreneurship in 2017 America.
iii_3candles 2 days ago 0 replies      
Crowdsourced shaming works.
pdog 2 days ago 0 replies      
RIP Uber, 20092017. It's been a good run.
kulu2002 2 days ago 1 reply      
What if Daimler thinks of buying Uber...
myblake 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hell, its about time.
whytaka 2 days ago 1 reply      
What a useless website https://istravisstillceo.com turned out to be.
camelite 2 days ago 7 replies      
Should we believe men too when they're victimised by women, or is this a one way deal? What if it's a man and a woman accusing each other, or two men or two women. What if the dude is a historically oppressed minority?
NumberCruncher 2 days ago 2 replies      
print "%s may or may not take over the world at some point, but it needs another round of investment in the next 18 months just to survive." % ('any Ponzi scheme')
good_vibes 2 days ago 3 replies      
rtx 2 days ago 2 replies      
This shows how important virtue signalling is today's America. We have well loved CEO's of billion dollar companies using actual slave Labour. No one write a about them. But here we have journalists like Sarah Lacy going on a crusade against him. Though she always forgot to mention that she has taken funding from VC supporting Uber's rival.
pfarnsworth 2 days ago 0 replies      
lol what the fuck is going on with this company? Unbelievable amount of drama, I don't know how any employees can do any work at this point.
ktamiola 2 days ago 0 replies      
Karma is a bitch.
m0sa 2 days ago 0 replies      
halite 2 days ago 0 replies      
throwawaymanbot 2 days ago 1 reply      
He can now spend his time Masturbating over Ayn Rand books.
sidcool 2 days ago 1 reply      
Should Google acquire Uber?
amaks 2 days ago 2 replies      
Somebody in Lyft must be opening a champaigne right now.
jbb67 2 days ago 1 reply      
I never understood why the tech press and sites like this one are obsessed with Uber.

It's a taxi company with an app. That's it.

anothercomment 2 days ago 3 replies      
Did he sexual harass anybody, or what is the point of his resignation? Another case of scapegoating?
ganfortran 2 days ago 1 reply      
Amazing the internet can empower an individual blog post to force the previously most formidable startup's CEO to resign.

Fear this inter connected world. Fear the power of language.

balladeer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Let's assume Uber dies. One bad outcome from this could be that Lyft gets a monopoly. I hope that doesn't happen.

Also, it will be awesome if instead of another Uber created there will be an open pool of ridess/seats available and people can use the platform of their choice. A la airline ticket booking model (of course the exact same approach will/may not work) or the bus ticket booking approach. Also, airline industry isn't hyperlocal.

samstave 2 days ago 1 reply      
It will be interesting to see Uber's HQ corporate culture shift from the wild-westworld crazy co to one who's cash cow is closely managed by the monied interests who will surely own the company from this point forward to ensure all future scandals are either quashed or kept under wraps...

With that said, who should lead Uber?

Luna Visual and textual functional programming language luna-lang.org
841 points by interpol_p  1 day ago   283 comments top 46
wdanilo 22 hours ago 27 replies      
Hi guys! My name is Wojciech Danilo and I'm one of the founders of Luna. The timing for this news is a little unfortunate, because we are just before releasing Luna as an Open Source project! However, it's great time to answer some questions and give you a short update what has happened for the last couple months:

1. We've raised a seed round of $1M, so we can safely focus on product development and shortly on community building! 2. We've improved our core technologies to be much more robust, open and extensible, including:

- We've re-written our graphical interface to be much more open and extensible (it was previously running on WebGL and now we base just on HTML, so it will be possible to attach any HTML-compatible controls / visualisations directly to nodes)- We've implemented new, better type inferencer and updated Luna compiler in many ways.- And much much more, but I don't want to uncover everything before the release, especially when it's around the corner :)

I would love to answer your questions, so If you've got any, just post it here and I'll do my best to cover it. Don't forget to singup for the list at http://luna-lang.org. We'd love to collaborate with you during the upcoming release! :)


ajarmst 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Given the name, I would expect this to be related to or built on Lua. That doesn't appear to be the case. Is this echo accidental?

"Traditional software development is broken by design" is a pretty strong claim, but the only support is a bunch of over-broad anecdotal claims about what "always" happens. That's a bit offputting for some of us.

The phrase "Category Oriented Programming" is used like it's common vernacular, which I don't think it is. Is it related to Category Theory? The text seems to imply that the idea of mixing functional programming with message-sending objects is novel. It really isn't.

"Unmatched performance and safety". Yeah. You want to be careful about that claim. Going to need to see the independent evaluation results.

That said, for those who value diagrams highly, this looks interesting. I wonder at what level of complexity the abstractions start to leak.

Skunkleton 23 hours ago 4 replies      
Here is the snapshot from when this was submitted to HN about a year and a half ago: http://archive.is/V2VwE

My question: what has changed? Has anyone addressed any of the fundamental questions that were posed last time this was submitted? Are there any concrete examples of how you might use this for general purpose programming?

svtiger 20 hours ago 1 reply      
May want to remove from your "About Us" bio: "hates Java Script" -- can't say I disagree, but you might alienate potential converts -- really should inject as much positivity as possible. Any negative messaging will do nothing but harm.
TFortunato 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Super super cool project! As someone who does robotics, I'm super eager to try this, and to hopefully contribute to some open-source libraries for this.

A lot of work in robotics involves software that maps to this style well (functional-ish, where data is being pushed through computational pipelines / graphs), and I think this could be a killer development environment for things like control systems, sensor fusion software, image processing / computer vision, etc.

The fact that it is going to be open source, and already seems to have some nice support for things foreign libraries, profiling support, and well as visualizing of your data visually (that image processing graph example!) makes me think you are going to get a good response to this. I also think there are a lot of hobbyist type projects (RasPi level 'smart home' stuff, algorithmic art / music, SDR, anything you see on Make / Hack-A-Day) who would love a tool like this!

I'm very interested in checking this out, and in contributing packages / libraries if that will be supported. Hoping to get access to the alpha!

daxfohl 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd productize this more as the next level of "spreadsheet" than of "programming language". These kinds of visual programming things always seem to come out with lots of fanfare but then never get used for real work. The spreadsheet, however, is by nature reactive, relational, visual, impromptu, yada yada. But even though spreadsheet tech has added lots of functionality over the years, it's still essentially based on an old paper grid.

I could see a product like this challenging that old basis with something more modern. But it still has to do all the stuff regular spreadsheets can do too. And ensuring that it can, and in an intuitive fashion, should probably be the first priority.

indigo0086 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting. I wonder if this is the future of not only reducing the barrier to entry to software engineering, but setting up a new tier of software engineer for the unskilled. Rather, would software have lower barrier to entry positions that are driven by piecing together software components like they would a factory job. I'm sure for most software a team is only necessary,but as software dominates our future, perhaps this is the bridge to unlocking more opportunities outside of a higher skilled tier of manual coding. I'm just talking off the top of my head, so I may be totally off base. Either way looks interesting, and that futuristic interface is sweet.
athenot 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Very nice! I feel this space is under-developped. Luna reminds me a lot of Apple's Quartz Composer.

Visually representing anything complex is an immense challenge, but just like code is broken down into units (files/functions/whatever), a visual tool that can provide a fractal-like representation of a system would be awesome.

(I'm looking to dig deeper in this space for some pet projects.)

mastazi 15 hours ago 1 reply      
So in the past I have used two self-proclaimed "visual programming languages", Blueprints[1] and Max[2] and in both cases I found that it is actually harder to be productive while dealing with UI elements than it is to simply write code (as long as you have at least some rudimentary form of autocomplete I guess).

However I have to say that, based on the little I've seen, Luna's UI seems to be actually developer-friendly i.e. the UI elements go hand-in-hand with code rather than getting in the way, I think it's brilliant, sort of Jupyter Notebooks on steroids.

[1] https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Blueprints/

[2] https://cycling74.com/products/max

halflings 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is similar to Knime [0], which lets you build "workflows" visually, and allow you to write custom blocks with Python or Java. The main difference seems that you can represent the whole workflow in a human-readable (and writable) format.


agentultra 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I find thinking visually to be quite limiting.

Although having a mixed textual representation is interesting. I sort of get this with the Moose platform in Pharo which I use for analysis based work. The most painful part of that though is interfacing with foreign systems. And maybe Smalltalk... not a bad language but I've been bitten by the Haskell/Lean/Idris bug. A seamless FFI experience as promised with this language coupled with a toolbox rivalling Moose would be interesting!

a-nikolaev 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like a lazy functional Python ) Very nice aesthetics of presentation.

There are a few things I am concerned, if you don't mind: I think that actually visualizing lazy computation can be quite a challenge, because of its on-demand nature. One might say that a lazily defined expression is computed (and should be visualized) where it's used, rather than where it's defined. There is a lot of substitutions going on under the hood, and computation is not as clearly localized as it would be in eager evaluation. Also, the tight binding between the code and the visualizations may limit your ability to optimize code for efficiency.

The True / False switch looks cool, but it feels like you are cheating here a little bit by using a boolean literal. Would it look equally nice if it's a function call or some complex expression that is possibly not known yet (as in a function definition)? I have a feeling that at the end of the day Luna may require a very complex visual language that is not easier than the textual alternatives.

But this is more like arbitrary concerns that will be hopefully clarified once you release the whole system. Thank you for your work.

Thumbs up for exploring these new alternative for writing code. I think, it may help us write better and safer programs in the future.

kazinator 18 hours ago 0 replies      
> Traditional software development is broken by design

Which is why Luna is entirely hosted within itself and needs a Luna implementation to bootstrap.

We wouldn't want to ask investors to believe in any traditional development after telling them it's broken.

mixedbit 20 hours ago 1 reply      
How do you envision version control/code reviews with Luna projects? Can diffs be explored at visual level or only source code level? If one developer moves nodes around without altering any logic are such changes tracked in the code repository?
ruffrey 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this related to the luna programming language experiment by TJ Holowaychuk?


adgasf 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Why implement a new language rather than a GUI on top of Idris, PureScript or similar?

(That aside, very excited!)

thecity2 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I like the idea of category-oriented programming. Would be interested to see a white paper on what that means.
pekr 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't it similar to what Eve tries to achieve? Well, what I like in overal, is an attitude and courage to introduce new technologies! I come from the Red language camp, which if I am not mistaken, is also being funded. So - good luck, guys :-)
zimablue 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This idea will eventually work and be huge I think (I know visual programming languages already exist but a commonly used one to emerge). As someone who believes in metaprogramming and flexibility though I'm hoping for something dynamic, not a heavy mandatory type system that compiles to Haskell.
gfaure 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wojciech, this is incredible! The combination of expressiveness, type safety, visual programming and API focus are pretty unique right now.

By the way, "Aggresive compile-time optimization" should be "Aggressive compile-time optimization".

msd81257 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd love to hear how this might be applied as a general debugger concept for CUDA and the likes. To a layman like me, CUDA's GDB debugging interface has always left a sour taste in my mouth due to the high amount of parallelism that simply can't be displayed through a debugger entailed to be used only on a single thread. I'd love to see someone working on (and I'm probably going to take a crack at it myself ;) ) not just using this interface as a language, but also as a debugging tool for other languages. Decomposition of CUDA (and other -- thinking Erlang right now especially) programs into bite-sized visualizations in order to program and debug would be invaluable for the space.
be5invis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You say you have dependent types

OK, could you define this?

 data Eq : {a : Type} -> a -> a -> Type where Refl : Eq x x sym : {x : a} -> {y : a} -> Eq x y -> Eq y x sym Refl = Refl replace : {a : Type} -> {x : a} -> {y : a} -> {f : a -> Type} -> Eq x y -> f x -> f y replace Refl p = p

danyeaw 12 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the examples I saw you guys give on YouTube is how complex things are becoming, and you talked about the LOC of a modern car and this is a reason we need visual programming. On your website you also discuss the limitations of UML.

To design complex systems like a car, you really need to know not just the functionality and the type of information, but also the structure of the system. How do all of those systems on the car physically connect to result in the behavior.

It seems like your approach would be really powerful for data processing, since in that case I don't think the structure matters much. Have you thought about how this could be applied to a complex system where structure is extremely important?

agentgt 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Just some minor critiques.

What is confusing to me is if the visualization actually running the code or is just static analysis of the code?

The reason I ask is if its running then what you have built is a language with an absolutely awesome visual REPL. If it is please say its a language with awesome visual REPL! A potential Excel for programmers killer. There are languages that tried to do this (Squeak, and Racket come to mind) but they were generally academic and more often for students/young adults (and not for businesses).

However you say whiteboard through out your marketing which makes me think brainstorming tools ala evernote, orgmode etc. I realize for VC they might prefer whiteboard.

Whiteboard to me is sharing and not really a tool. It means I have to register and create a profile when all I really want is a language with a powerful visual REPL. (again just my point of view on marketing).

mrkgnao 22 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks really beautiful: what's it written in?

Also, "Num in IO", nice. Now we wait for someone to write a "(Num in IO) in IO" action.

shalabhc 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Examples on the home page have broken indentation, or just a multi-level indentation that is confusing?

 class Point: x y z :: Int origin = Point 0 0 0 Point x y _ = origin print 'Origin XY coords are ($x,$y)'
(Why is `origin =` indented at all?)

FridgeSeal 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This. Looks. Awesome!

I literally cannot wait to try this out on some data processing/number crunching stuff!

The integrations with the likes of Python are super exciting as well - any plans (even remote ones) to do the same with Julia?

bussiere 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't tested it yet but i mind if this is possible to make microservice with this ?

Like defining an port (like 80) an input (a json like {"example":0} make an operation an return a value by the same port and json.

It could be an nice way to include micro service into a larger eco system or make people collaborate using luna in larger project.

For python you may use hug or flask

That s an interesting idea btw

good job and good luck

pikachuaintcool 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Pretty bad name, I thought it was a typo for Lua.
pekr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't it similar to what Eve is trying to achieve?
pjdorrell 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If Luna is dependently typed, can it be used to do theorem proving, eg like Idris?
murukesh_s 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, we need more visual programming languages coming out now. it's so impossible to convince a programmer who never experienced visual programming how useful/practical it can be.

I understand you are from a video processing background where visual programming is widely employed.. We are also building a visual programming platform, inspired from enterprise tools. Really interesting to see this domain evolve.

jancsika 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Where are the node positions stored?
fareesh 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool concept - is there an open source repo of some kind which shows how a complex application (kitchen sink kind of app) is made?
cdevs 11 hours ago 0 replies      
What beautiful black magic programming even despite the fact that I hate flow chart programming like unreal and other game engines do.
danem 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm struck by the similarity to grasshopper. This seems to share many of the same features such as visual profiling, visual / textual representation, live previews etc... Has it inspired the design at all?
adamgravitis 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you guys going to release something describing your concept of "category oriented programming" any time soon?
sullyj3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks cool! Is the editing environment extensible enough to support an embedded neovim instance?
polskibus 20 hours ago 2 replies      
What is it compiled to? Does it target JVM, CLR, native code (if so what platforms?)What is it compiled with? LLVM ? GCC ? Custom compiler?What is the standard library like?
_RPM 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Any relationship to TJ H's repo, http://github.com/tj/luna ?
jlebrech 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I like to see a language that's a simple subset of ruby for example but the OO is delegated to a graphical representation (boxes for classes, arrows for methods etc..)
dlitvakb 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm super interested in this project! I'd like to see how interop really works and how to get multiple data sources interconnected to produce amazing datasets.
hustlechris 19 hours ago 0 replies      
so when's the ICO?
toisanji 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to see how the visual representation of larger non toy examples look. Looks like a very cool project !
Meai 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It sounds like it wont compile to C or use LLVM, you have some kind of custom VM?
247yak 22 hours ago 0 replies      
anyone try bubble.is? Love to get a comparison on how this is better / different.
Teller API for your bank account teller.io
592 points by ldn_tech_exec1  1 day ago   263 comments top 55
alexbilbie 1 day ago 3 replies      
UK banks don't accept any liability if you give your online banking credentials to a third party.

If some fraud was to come about as a result of someone using Teller then they would be out of pocket or has Teller got agreements with the compatible banks to overcome this situation (either by Teller reimbursing the customer or the bank)?

mirekrusin 1 day ago 2 replies      
Somebody told me that 2018 is the deadline for EU banks to provide API access. If that's the case then going through any server side layer managed by somebody is unnecessary and people in general should think twice about every single bank transaction being stored somewhere "there". It gives out a lot of information from your internet provider to your child's creche, holidays habits, income (duh), loan repayments and whether you like on mondays this new sandwich at pret a manger with a coffee for take-away or eat-in - can be inferred as well.

So be careful and if you want to have more insight into your finance maybe it's better to digest those apis yourself, libraries should pop out soon if they are not yet available for your bank (in europe anyway).

skirsch 1 day ago 2 replies      
Early on at Token, we looked Teller as a possible solution to getting to market quickly. We found two things: 1) the lawyers told us to stay clear (huge greyzone) and 2) the banks themselves didn't want to engage with us using teller even if it sped up development time. We even brought stevie in talk to our lawyers to make his case. He failed to convince them. Finally, we inquired about the price. Stevie was elusive on pricing. I finally asked, "Look, if we paid you $1M, how many banks could we get?" He said one. So at that point, we were so far apart on all issues, so we pulled out. Token will be doing something similar to teller in terms of "one API for all banks" (aggregating banks' PSD2 interface with Token acting as a PISP/AISP). But we are also providing the PSD2 interface for other banks. We have raised plenty of money to do it right ($18.5M Series A to start with), but our pricing to developers will be ridiculously inexpensive. Also, we need to hire developers very quickly, so if you are interested in helping us do it right (no shared secrets, all end-to-end secure protocols, secure central PII storage (where the decryption keys are only available at endpoints), please let us know. We don't have a lot of time left to do this right. We are located in London and San Francisco.
foxylion 1 day ago 3 replies      
As a German it is hard to believe that such things do not exist yet in other countries. We have a standardized protocol called FinTS which is implemented by most banks. This results in a huge amount of desktop and mobile applications for banking.
Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not seeing terms of service or a privacy policy. Who's responsible when there's an error, or a transaction is processed twice or zero times? Is this really a scheme to obtain user data and sell it to advertisers?
eriknstr 1 day ago 0 replies      
There already exists a company called Teller in Europe which is dealing with payment solutions.

> Nets is split up in two divisions: Nets, which manages the Danish market, and Teller, which handles all international markets. This means that Nets processes all Dankort transactions, while Teller processes all transactions by international cards.





whockey 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hey all - co-founder of Plaid[0]. Congrats to Steve - great to see some innovation across the pond!

There were a bunch of questions about Plaid and the difference. The obvious one is that Teller is UK only and supports the top couple banks, Plaid is US only and supports thousands of financial institutions. If you need both UK and US coverage - since we both have pretty developer friendly APIs - it seems like a nice combo! Steve/Teller have also taken a bit of an antagonistic approach and has not worked with the banks - time will see if this proves successful, but we've taken the approach to work directly with the banks (as investors, clients, data-partners etc.).

Hope that helps and if you have any other questions/comments feel free to shoot me an email at william [at] plaid.com

[0] https://plaid.com

cikey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am i the only one that would never trust a completely unknown third party with my bank account?

I like the idea, but i would never use this as a service on the internet.

foodstances 1 day ago 1 reply      
How is this different than something like https://plaid.com/ ?
smaili 1 day ago 2 replies      
How many times have you thought to yourself Damn, I really wish my bank account had an API?

Now that's an intro!

heneryville 1 day ago 2 replies      
"We realise that our revenue will most likely be a very long tail with a small number of customers bringing in most of the cash."

Either they or I don't understand what long tail means.

adambowles 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why is it gated behind SMS?
retrac98 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just wanted to say well done. Lots of people here throwing up problems, complaints, reasons why this won't work etc. I think this is great.
skrebbel 1 day ago 2 replies      
Dutch mobile-only bank Bunq also published their API pretty recently: https://www.bunq.com/en/api

Things are starting to not-entirely-suck in retail banking land. (in Europe, at least - not sure about elsewhere)

IshKebab 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah no thanks. I want a banking API but I want a first party API. No way I'm trusting some random guy on the internet with my banking password.
elliott2020 3 hours ago 0 replies      
OMG finally! So does this mean we can skip all the credit card and ACH fees?
Scottymeuk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built a little script to export my accounts to CSV/QIF. Super easy to use API! https://github.com/scottrobertson/teller-export
insomniacity 1 day ago 1 reply      
I emailed a bit with sjtgraham on this a while back.

It was my understanding back then that even when Teller does more advanced authentication with the bank, eg EMV CAP, that that does still grant them the rights to move money, even though Teller doesn't yet support it.

To me that paints a big target on Teller's back - all those juicy downstream credentials.

sjtgraham's point was that setting up new payees typically (always?) requires additional authentication. But I can think of a number of scenarios where a hacker might send all my money to all my existing payees just to mess with me/Teller/my bank... causing fees and stress.

Obviously it's going down the route that Teller won't need your full credentials, you will grant them access via something like EMV CAP, which I applaud.

But I would call on Teller to publicly commit to not integrate more 'advanced' auth methods if they don't include the ability to grant read-only access, if the user wishes!

lookingfj 1 day ago 4 replies      
How does it work if not by screen scraping?
johnlbevan2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a test / mock instance, allowing you to call services connecting to dummy bank accounts? i.e. Some people may be concerned about trying out the API on their own accounts during the early stages, or if any update services are added in future. Also it enables those not banking with a supported bank to develop against the service.
jimmcslim 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder how many of the use cases for a retail banking API would be simply satisfied by just allowing customers to request a weekly email with a CSV transaction file attached in a sensible format?
jsk2600 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is interesting and has great potential to grow when PSD2 goes live in EU (early 2018). I wonder what authors plans are regarding this.
sleepyhead 1 day ago 0 replies      
Teller is already an established brand name in the payment industry in Norway (Scandinavia?). https://www.nets.eu/en/payments/
pjwal 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain to me this dichotomy I see with the almost thermo-nuclear war when it comes to copyright protection of total drivel, but when it comes to fin-tech there is literally a flourishing industry of screen scraping typing companies and well-publicized plays like Mint and it's just like a big shrug? How are these companies able to mitigate through the banking companies TOU and such?
_pdp_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Once you have access to someones banking account you can typically make small transfers (up to ~200) without second-factor authentication. So if your service get's breached attackers will have potentially the means to extract real cash through mules or wreck havoc.

Asking for credentials is no go whatever the bank is. There are ways to get some feeds even now but that requires signing some papers. Besides, I don't want to shoot down the service because this is genuinely a useful service (if it wasn't for the scrapping) but the best way to solve this problem is for banks to implement their own APIs with proper access controls that make sense in the context of the bank and the account.

benoror 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Paybook (https://www.paybook.com/) is doing the same in Mexico
sigi45 1 day ago 0 replies      
People: Only do it with an extra bankaccount. Without any credit functionality and without your primary money.

Everything else would be very naiv.

teekert 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bunq already has a native api [0], only if you pay sadly, many other functions are free. I like Bunq but their app devellopment is slow, I still can't share iDeal (is iDeal only Dutch? I wonder...) requests through anything other than email and sms. Everybody is waiting for general sharing on Android/iOS.

[0] https://doc.bunq.com/

megamindbrian 1 day ago 0 replies      
How is this differently than Yodlee?
jimmcslim 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have any insight into a PSD2-style effort in Australia?

I notice that National Australia Bank is experimenting with APIs, they have a developer portal [1], with FX rates and branch location APIs currently available. Authentication, customer details and accounts APIs are 'coming soon'.

[1] https://developer.nab.com.au/ourapis

runeks 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Transfer money between accounts, make external payments using Faster Payments, and manage your payees, standing orders, and Direct Debits all through the Teller API.

What will the fees be on sending/receiving money?

Scraping data from your own bank account seems rather uninteresting to me. I assume sending/transferring is limited to domestic banks. Is this the case?

SamyGe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe every Bank should provide its own, well documented API. Third Party is not an option imho. Also this reminds me of that root Bank i saw here in HN some time ago... https://root.co.za/
guelo 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is annoying, I got all excited and then realising this is for a handful of UK banks. Would be great if it were tagged as a UK thing more prominently.
film42 1 day ago 1 reply      
Engineer at MX here! We have a similar product for US and Canadian banks called Atrium.

More info here: https://atrium.mx.com/home

NOTE: I saw a few people mentioning Plaid and Quovo so I thought it would be appropriate to mention our product.

bruno2223 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cool project,

You should make it open source (to grow your bank catalog by the community) with some premium Plan (to earn money of it)

That's the only way to get it worldwide, otherwise, you will have to do MITM attack every single Bank App in order to get their APIs, with is painful and most of the times impossible without valid credentials.

Opensource + Premium is the way to go!

orliesaurus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Knowing the founder personally and his level of competency writing code gets me very warm down below. If I still lived in the UK, I would build something around Teller trying to give users a feeling close to what Monzo-bank is/does. Some kind of a hybrid zombie child, but beautiful!
BigChiefSmokem 1 day ago 1 reply      
A bank account is usually only part of the financial equation. What would really be useful is an API for a service like Mint. I'd even be willing to pay a low fee for someone to make available all the aggregate data from all the financial institutions via API for me.
7ewis 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks really cool, but I'm nervous about trying it. Can they provide any guarantees?
_cairn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sorry for the newb question but a quick google didn't yield the results I was looking for. What is the attack vector here that "screen scraping" would exploit?
wbronchart 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a UK bank account but no UK phone number, can't sign up.
hendry 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I noticed a similar venture in Indonesia: https://brank.as/
sgt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems similar to https://root.co.za/ - which is focused on South Africa.
apeace 1 day ago 1 reply      
Which countries are supported? Not seeing that info anywhere. I only saw in a comment here that Teller has relationships with "every major UK bank".
billconan 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is this only for UK? which banks are supported?
Doctor_Fegg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Superb. Any chance of supporting Lloyds?
empath75 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd much prefer that this were just open source so I don't have to share my bank credentials.
kennedy 1 day ago 2 replies      
When will this be available in the US?
lamby 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would love HSBC support :)
donatj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any plans on support for more American Banks, such as Wells Fargo?
petraeus 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are many many problems besides the technological hurtles.
jamesrom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is the fact you don't talk at all about security in this blog post or on your home page deliberate?
AJRF 1 day ago 0 replies      
I cant wait for PSD2.
beaconstudios 1 day ago 0 replies      
cool - what makes your service different from Yodlee?
kkotak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry but your solution is not my problem.
lngnmn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yet another man-in-the-middle collecting a fee from each transaction?
D Language accepted for inclusion in GCC gnu.org
524 points by deng  2 days ago   228 comments top 21
eco 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is basically the work of one tireless man; Iain Buclaw. Many thanks to him for putting in so much time and energy into this. It took 6 years from first submission to get it in. Here are the slides from his 2017 DConf talk about the work that went into making this happen: http://dconf.org/2017/talks/buclaw.pdf
krylon 1 day ago 2 replies      
Silly me, I was under the impression that gdc was already part of gcc...

Well, so at least now I am no longer mistaken. ;-)

I have tried to learn D repeatedly over the last couple of years, but I was usually scared off by how complex this language is. Even so, the syntax is far cleaner than C++[1].

Also, the last time I gave it a try, something finally clicked. I am not all there yet, but I am beginning to like it. The community is very friendly and helpful. Being able to ask stupid questions without being shouted at makes learning a language a lot easier.

[1] To be fair, C++ has carried the baggage of backwards compatibility around since its birth, while D did not and could learn from what C++ got right and wrong.

castratikron 1 day ago 1 reply      
I remember trying out D a few years ago. One of the things that threw me off was the bare-bones compiler. I think I was using the reference compiler at the time. The language itself I thought was pretty cool, slices are neat.

I could really see D take off now that it's getting gcc support.

kronos29296 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have read many posts saying D was better than C++ as a language but there were no libraries for use case X. Now this may help popularise the language.
LukeShu 2 days ago 4 replies      
There has been out-of-tree GCC support for D for several years. I wonder what has changed that they're letting it in to the official repository.
hellbanner 1 day ago 1 reply      
I learned about D through Torus Trooper - a highspeed vector graphics game written in D


Keyframe 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great and might interest me back to D, after many years of absence! When is inclusion expected, at which version / snapshot?
jeffdavis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am learning rust now, but D seems quite promising.

Rust guides you more toward certain approaches. That makes rust easier to learn, but it makes it harder to integrate with existing projects. On paper, rust could work great in a lot of environments, but I'm finding that it takes a bit more work to integrate with a real codebase. It can be done, and I feel like that's well supported, but it takes some real work to port the concepts of a C API into a good and safe rust API.

D might make that easier because it's an "everything" language, so there is likely a corresponding D equivalent of almost any existing API. Of course, you won't get the same level of safety or other benefits, but it could be a smoother path.

pjmlp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations, it will be nice to have D as well as part of a GCC default install.
systems 1 day ago 0 replies      
it seemed like facebook was interested in d for a while, but then it also seems they dropped it in favour of ocaml

i think so, because i believe ocaml and d do compete, and it is clear facebook stopped using d and now used ocaml in several project, they even created reason

any idea why facebook dropped d

jjnoakes 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does this mean D-via-GCC will be supported on more platforms going forward than what is supported today?
fithisux 1 day ago 2 replies      
While I like D and use it for scientific work, wwo "omissions" leave me a bitter taste. Nothrow and Pure are not part of the type signature of functions and consequently the compiler has limited inference about these. However I will keep using it unless something better comes up. C++/C# are not an option for me since I found D.
int_19h 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is there a D IDE with good code completion and refactoring support? Last time I tried it, all that I've seen were pretty bad at it - handling the simple stuff fine, but breaking down on more complicated stuff, metaprogramming especially (kinda like most C++ IDEs did 8 years ago or so).
jacquesm 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's really great news and ensures long term viability of the D language and associated eco system.
roryrjb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow I literally just installed GDC today (as opposed to DMD which I've tried in the past) in order to support ARM as well as x86. Congrats on the inclusion!
joelthelion 1 day ago 4 replies      
What does it bring over modern C++? Why would you want to use it?
eggy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just started looking into D, and I was wondering about its future as part of my evaluation. Now, I feel it will benefit from being part of the GCC 'canon', and gain more of a user-base, and contributors.
tejasmanohar 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's the main draw towards D? Who's using it in production?
srcmap 1 day ago 2 replies      
Human societies seem to evolve to fewer languages.

Fewer languages help everyone communicate easier/better.

Programming languages seem to go the opposite direction.

Any speculation on why?

mahdix 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! Congrats!
lasermike026 1 day ago 1 reply      
Shouldn't gcc be working to catch up to llvm?
My Uber driver robbed me, so I took Uber to court and won fymhotsauce.rocks
567 points by fischerq  1 day ago   260 comments top 38
ivraatiems 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm glad this worked out for the OP. However, I think he may have made a couple mistakes that could have been avoided for a smoother process.

The big one is not retaining an attorney. No, he doesn't have to for small claims court, but Uber clearly had its legal team looking at this. Now, I understand that lawyers are expensive and carry their own issues - but if he'd won the case with an attorney, he could potentially have secured attorney's fees as well. Plus, a good way to make a company cave on an issue like this is to say "direct all requests to my attorney; I'm not speaking to you on this matter."

I realize getting a lawyer isn't always feasible, though, especially in small claims, so I'll assume it just wasn't possible for this case (also, I'm not a lawyer, this is just based on my understanding of the small claims process). Still, giving Uber all the evidence in the case after a suit had been filed but before any discovery had been ordered was a misstep. Small claims court rarely has formal discovery - the process by which each side finds and turns over evidence to the other side. The OP was - as far as I can tell - under no obligation to give evidence to the Uber rep of any kind. He should not have; they used it against him. What he should have done was say "we can discuss this in court, or you can make me whole now and avoid that," and NOTHING else.

Edit: A line I really enjoyed from the piece: "They were a company that shows blatant disrespect to authority, operating illegally in cities and using technology to intentionally avoid law enforcement." Yep. That's Uber in a nutshell. Well played.

qb45 1 day ago 1 reply      
The detective in charge of my case sent me the police report. She had contacted the official law enforcement department of Uber to get more information. She gave Uber the date and time of the ride, as well as the license plate of the vehicle and name of the driver.

The Uber department responded that they had no record of a trip from the vehicle with that license plate on December 5th, 2016, just after 11 PM, and the driver had not driven with them for 2 years.

Funny, I came here to rant that Uber shouldn't really be responsible for that and the OP should have sued the driver instead, but if this is their response then they totally deserved everything they got and more.

How is it even possible to get away with lying to the police like that? They should be in serious trouble for this alone.

skinnymuch 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow what a crazy story. The twist half way through after the first court case was cool.

Trying not to spoil anything for someone who hasn't read or finished reading the article.

But first it sucks how much time was spent by everyone in the story especially the victim. It also sucks that if you have to go to court again because something comes up that shows the defense, Uber, in this case, did something clearly wrong that wasn't known the first time, you seemingly can't increase the amount you're suing for. So all the expenses of going back to court again, etc, come out of your pocket. That's lame.

But at least you won in the end^. I'll be weary of Uber from now on and my belongings. I can't completly stop using Uber because of friends who don't care. Finally, who knows how other companies would handle this. Probably better, but, I don't know.

^ not a spoiler like a commentor noted because the title and URL both say he won

baby 1 day ago 2 replies      
Damn, one of my driver drove with my girlfriend's phone, we were waving to him but he didn't stop. We managed to call him via the app and he said he would send it back to us but never did. After that it was impossible to do anything/contact him via Uber :/
tbrake 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't get the "should have heard the car drive away and chased him" angle they twice tried.

He should be at fault for not being as fast as a car? Most people aren't going to be able to run at >10mph for very long, forget about anything more.

And even then, suppose he had caught up to the car and the driver didn't want to stop.

Just slimy.

module0000 1 day ago 1 reply      
This guy took the high road - once he had the license plate and an address, this could have taken a very different turn. If you're into someone for $4,000, it's a coin flip whether they invest effort into getting it back, or invest another $4,000 for someone else to get you back. If you are going to steal from someone, always keep that in the back of your mind... you don't know what type of person you're stealing from. Maybe it's an easy mark, or maybe it's a vindictive psychopath that would love an excuse to pull your teeth out in his basement over the next 30 days. "Risk vs Reward" and all that...
startupdiscuss 1 day ago 5 replies      
For me, the most heartbreaking aspect of this story is the sheer amount of time and effort that had to be squandered.

You could probably have designed an app, coded a site, or written a small novel with that time.

Bahamut 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is sad to hear, and while I don't use Uber anymore, I did have one great experience - my phone slipped out of my pocket into the car as I was getting out, and the car drove off as I got out and did not carry anything there. I was able to contact the last driver by logging into the app from a hotel employee's phone and arrange a pickup not too long later.

I gave her a generous cash tip and many thanks for doing the right thing, as I was far away from my home in the Bay Area (was in Savannah for a race).

codedokode 1 day ago 1 reply      
So in the end Uber got away with obstructing justice and the driver got away with theft. It is surprising that police cannot find the thief even knowing his identity.
frostymarvelous 1 day ago 1 reply      
On a night out drinking, a friend invited their uber driver to join them as they had a great connection (this is Africa so its not really strange). At the end of the night, said friend forgot all his devices in the ride and after trying to reach the driver for days and failing, we reported the issue to uber. Uber called the driver and he denied he'd seen the devices. Uber basically gave us the finger and told us they could do nothing.
dmitrygr 1 day ago 1 reply      
A fun read. Glad the author prevailed. Not surprised at uber's action, sadly. Claiming they do not control the drivers' actions is their norm.
water42 1 day ago 3 replies      
before uber, I don't think I've ever rooted for a company to fail
gravypod 1 day ago 7 replies      
"I just didnt buy that a company could just get away with that business model. Hire anyone with a car, facilitate everything, and have no responsibility for what happens in the cars."

If I got food sick from something I ordered off GrubHub could I sue them?

theprop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome work!! Great story about how awful the legal system is given the amount of effort and work you had to go through. You deserved a lot more than just that $4k.

I personally feel bad that it's only after reading this that I'm going to stop using Uber as well...despite all of the terrible stuff that's going on over there, I was willing to strike up to "growing pains" or "bad apples", since I wrongly believed they were 100% committed to their users. That's clearly not the case so there's no more Uber for me.

sivex 1 day ago 3 replies      
Not a single comment on here about using insurance. I know that a backpack with a laptop can be stolen out of someone else's car and cut-rate renters insurance will cover it. I don't really think Uber was the correct person to foot this bill, I think this is the same as someone grabbing your purse from you when walking down the street. You either have decent insurance or you're SOL
hoodoof 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can I say that I had the inverse experience where an Uber driver drove off with something that I left in the trunk of the car.

He went to considerable effort over multiple calls over a few days of coordinating and attempts for me to get it back, until eventually I got it back intact.

It was a first class customer service experience.

cakedoggie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I tried reading this, when does the guy get to the point? I am not sure what Dota, or his dad, or his hot sauce or his awesome flight has to do with any of this?

Ok, go about 2 pages down, and you can skip the incredibly detailed discussion of his exiting the car.

This seems more like the driver thought he had all his bags, the door was closed, a simple mistake. But no, the driver was a master thief, spying him using stuff in his bag and racing off (at an incredibly slow pace according to the video).

Good on the guy for following up with this, and it is an interesting story.

> They were a company that shows blatant disrespect to authority, operating illegally in cities and using technology to intentionally avoid law enforcement.

This is true, and well known. And if you knowingly use Uber, you understand this.

linkmotif 1 day ago 0 replies      
What I dont understand about Uber after all these months/years of them being horrible to customers is: Why?

#1 rule of capitalism is to coddle your customers as much as possible at every possible expense while still remaining profitable. Why does Uber act so 2nd World?

hsod 1 day ago 10 replies      
Interesting story, but I think it was a bit unfair to Uber. I'm glad this guy was made whole, but I'm not sure Uber's reluctance to paying you 4000 dollars because a driver stole your backpack qualifies as corruption.

From what I can tell, the worst thing Uber did was not be sufficiently cooperative with the police investigation. This part of the narrative is extremely muddled and unclear, so it's hard to take a strong position on their behavior here.

Pxtl 1 day ago 2 replies      
11 paragraphs of self-promotion before getting to the meat.
jszymborski 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any anecdotal stories about losing items in traditional Taxis? The first clerk didn't think that ever worked out, wondering about that claim...
iplaw 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ultimately, Uber did not want to establish a precedent for liability. What they should have done is settled for $4,000 and forced the victim to sign an NDA, ensuring that this little conflict remained private.

Instead, in usual Uber fashion, the legal and HR team worked their magic and created a lose-lose-lose situation for themselves:

1. They established precedent for liability;

2. They obstructed justice, which could be used as fodder in subsequent lawsuits; and

3. They did nothing to prevent this story from being broadcasted far and wide.

olegkikin 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should've added like $50K of punitive damages. The fact that they lied to the police and got away with it is crazy. You didn't even break even, considering how much time and research you spent.
AngeloAnolin 22 hours ago 0 replies      

"Ultimately I am sad that the company that is trying to reform the taxi industry is so corrupt."

dba7dba 1 day ago 3 replies      
Note to self, "leave doors/trunks open UNTIL I am positive all my luggages are out of the car."
sjg007 1 day ago 0 replies      
Uber and Lyft are here to stay and if not them then someone else. Cabs suck.
hosh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder -- with a company culture on the lookout for loopholes and exploits in order to enter markets, do they tend to see that by default in the behavior of others? This guy got accused of deliberately leaving his bag in the car. There was also that incident with the rape, and the executive who brought back confidential files to discuss whether that was a fraud.

It is as if, "I think you are trying to commit fraud here ... because that is what I can imagine trying to pull off myself."

jellicle 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know, if Uber employees started going to jail when they lied to the government, the culture would probably change pretty fast.
ElijahLynn 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reads a lot like The Rosie Project, which is a great read!
king_panic 1 day ago 2 replies      
did anyone else notice this blog post is on site that sells hot sauce?
uptown 1 day ago 0 replies      
What kind of snacks did you eat on the plane?
redwyvern 1 day ago 0 replies      
Deleting Uber
freeplatform 1 day ago 1 reply      
I get that the court process is the main part of the story, but I still can't believe that you left $4k worth of equipment in the car with a stranger. I guess I'm just much more paranoid. Also, that's how I view taxi drivers as well as Uber/Lyft drivers. Sure there are some protections like background checks and tracking, but at the end of the day it is a stranger we don't know, and anything could happen, so we probably should at least be a bit hesitant.
dsfyu404ed 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't fault the driver. He's just following the normal standards of conduct for business transactions in Massachusetts.

I say this as someone who had the misfortune of growing up there.

I'm only being sarcastic about not faulting the driver. Unless you're trying to grow your customer base or know the person you screw them. It's just how things are done.

paulcole 1 day ago 1 reply      
>Before my hot sauce set a record on Kickstarter

I would've liked to know more about this relevant detail.

valuearb 1 day ago 2 replies      
Really poorly written. Spends far too long in getting to the event, and really confusing about the court proceedings.
mrob 1 day ago 1 reply      
Misleading title. Robbery is theft by force or threat of force. Although the author says he was "robbed", he alleges theft by driving off with his bag, no violence involved.
pilsetnieks 1 day ago 2 replies      
> I ended up going to an Apple store as they had just made everything in their laptops Type-C, but in typical Apple fashion they were $90 and that just seemed outrageous. Not too far away a Microsoft store had a charger for only $30, so I bought that instead.

Was this nugget really necessary? And, by the way, a laptop charger for $90 is a reasonable price; if anything, I'd be more outraged about a $30 phone charger.

Comcast accused of cutting competitors wires to put it out of business arstechnica.com
466 points by coloneltcb  21 hours ago   174 comments top 22
kodt 20 hours ago 19 replies      
This does not surprise me, in fact a Comcast technician told me they do this (on a much smaller scale) by disconnecting or cutting competitors' cable runs to buildings they are working on (and also sometimes their own).

I lived in a multi-unit apartment building and one day noticed my internet was down (I was a Comcast subscriber). I was suspicious because a Comcast technician was just out earlier in the day installing internet for a new tenant in the building. After going through the phone support steps they scheduled a technician to come out and check the line.

A couple days later, when the technician arrives, he checks the line only to confirm no signal. Then he goes out back to the cable box outside. I was unable to check this myself since it was mounted high on the building and required a ladder to access. Within a few minutes it was working again.

The Comcast technician then told me my line was just disconnected. I asked him if the previous technician made a mistake during the install. He said something along the lines of: "No, often in these multi-unit buildings we will disconnect people at random in case they are trying to steal cable. If they are a paying customer they will call and get it turned back on". He then went on about how they would have fun disconnecting competitors, and that competitors did it back to them etc.. all very nonchalantly and candidly.

I then called Comcast and got a 3 day credit for the outage they created "intentionally" to prove I am a customer.

noonespecial 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Even if this was accidental and overblown (as lawsuits often are: one side of the story etc...), Comcast has a steep hill to climb because of their terrible reputation.

I think they're going to get completely hosed in court over this. Being assholes to everyone you deal with can have surprising hidden costs.

distantsounds 19 hours ago 2 replies      
In a shared-housing unit, a Comcast tech once cut the coax wires going to my FiOS box when installing internet for new tenants. Why he felt the need to touch my wiring is beyond me. The tech had to come back (albeit hours later) to undo the damage he did. A minor annoyance, but just adds onto the anecdotes of stories about the techs not knowing what they are doing.
DamnInteresting 18 hours ago 2 replies      
When we purchased a house a few years back, Comcast was our only broadband option, so we reluctantly called them. The previous owners had a Dish Network receiver on the roof, and the when the Comcast technician arrived he enthusiastically offered to remove it and haul it away for us at no charge, even though it was in no way interfering with Comcast's cabling.

I doubt I will ever have interest in subscribing to Dish Network, but I declined, not wanting to be party to such anti-competitive behavior. I can't imagine the tech would offer to remove it unless such is standard practice. He'd be doing extra work for no extra pay (unless Comcast offers a head hunting bounty).

madcaptenor 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Comcast once cut the wire that led to my apartment because someone else in my building didn't pay their bill, and their records were poor enough (I blame this on the fact that they had grown by acquisition of a company that I know didn't have it together) that they didn't know which wire went where. And then it took multiple technicians coming out to get it set back up. I work for a competitor now and I tell this story to illustrate How Things Can Go Wrong.
jamroom 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow - if true I really hope Comcast gets taken to the cleaners over this. We REALLY need more ISP competition in the US- this is just ridiculous.
5ilv3r 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Mom and pop shops have so little recourse against this kind of abuse. I grew up in one that was killed by verizon, and this stuff still stings.
Paul-ish 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The cable operator should have been able to seek an injunction after they cut his cable the second time. Clearly Comcast didn't know what they were doing, and were just barreling forward. That behavior should not be rewarded.
bitlax 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had Comcast employees call me posing as my current cable provider in order to verify my monthly payment.
dangjc 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The regulators need to crack down on this. If Comcast controls the regulators, they need to be broken up. No one company should have that much political power.
lfnoise 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The Comcast installer ripped out the AT&T lines and the lines to my aerial antenna along the side of my house when he installed cable. At a previous house I rented, the Comcast guy cut the AT&T line from the pole and left it hanging two feet off the ground from a branch in a tree. Comcast didn't want to come out to fix it because it wasn't their wire.
ndespres 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't doubt that the linked story is true, but I know that individually this can happen all the time inadvertently. I worked for an ISP which provided "dry loop DSL" (DSL without dialtone service on the phone line) in the mid-2000s and as a consequence of having internet service from a 3rd party over telco pairs with no phone numbers attached, the local phone companies would regularly re-use our customers' lines for new phone installations. Since they were not tagged with phone numbers in the exchange building, and had no dialtone, the phone company techs had no way to tell the lines were in use.
eriknstr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Cutting competitor's wires feels like mafia tactics.
paul7986 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Comcast customer service is terrible and will always remain terrible until they bring ALL of their customer service and technicians in house and pay them handsomely.

Until then they will always remain at the bottom of the barrel and as the most hated company in the country due to horrid customer service.

I worked at Comcast for too many years answering their phones and getting yelled out because 80% of the time due to the contracted technicians and the companies they work for.

pwerner2 19 hours ago 12 replies      
Former Comcast cable technician here. I was an in-house tech, and corporate has ludicrous quality standards and nitpicky, white-glove QC's after an in-house tech leaves a job. However, the company obviously employs a TON of _independent contractors_. Some of these contractors are excellent at their jobs, but a lot of them aren't, and as they're not subject to any real oversight by the corporation, you really don't know what you're going to get. At least, this was the case at the office I worked out of. Based on my experience (and I worked at the company for a while), this is almost definitely 100% true, but it's probably a contractor or an individual corporate tech being lazy, instead of malicious action on the part of Comcast.
omdeezy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Same thing happened to our apartment last summer. Technician came in to install a neighbor's internet and disconnected ours during the process. Shit is unbelievable.
kevin_thibedeau 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The Verizon FiOS installer did this in my apartment when I wanted to get cable IP service set up. What should have been a simple self install required a service call to have a tech come out and crawl through the attic to splice the cable back together.
tolien 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar things have happened in the UK, with BT contractors plugging phones in and calling the speaking clock [1] to work out if a copper pair is free for them to use for a new customer, or just unplugging them and hoping for the best.

[1] http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/11/phantom-calls-t...

equalarrow 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh we can dream..
LoonyBalloony 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Competitors? tisk tisk Comcast... you've been slacking.
droopybuns 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Have to wonder if this is union related & that tiny ISP hired non-union workers.
pishpash 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So is this more or less evil than Uber's various unethical actions? Comcast CEO sure won't be stepping down. Corporations gonna corp.
Tesla hires Andrej Karpathy techcrunch.com
525 points by janober  2 days ago   313 comments top 17
Animats 2 days ago 15 replies      
What this really reflects is that Tesla has painted itself into a corner. They've shipped vehicles with a weak sensor suite that's claimed to be sufficient to support self-driving, leaving the software for later. Tesla, unlike everybody else who's serious, doesn't have a LIDAR.

Now, it's "later", their software demos are about where Google was in 2010, and Tesla has a big problem. This is a really hard problem to do with cameras alone. Deep learning is useful, but it's not magic, and it's not strong AI. No wonder their head of automatic driving quit. Karpathy may bail in a few months, once he realizes he's joined a death march.

If anything, Tesla should have learned by now that you don't want to need to recognize objects to avoid them. The Mobileye system works that way, being very focused on identifying moving cars, pedestrians, and bicycles. It's led to at least four high speed crashes with stationary objects it didn't identify as obstacles. This is pathetic. We had avoidance of big stationary objects working in the DARPA Grand Challenge back in 2005.

With a good LIDAR, you get a point cloud. This tells you where there's something. Maybe you can identify some of the "somethings", but if there's an unidentified object out there, you know it's there. The planner can plot a course that stays on the road surface and doesn't hit anything. Object recognition is mostly for identifying other road users and trying to predict their behavior.

Compare Chris Urmson's talk and videos at SXSW 2016 [1] with Tesla's demo videos from last month.[2]Notice how aware the Google/Waymo vehicle is of what other road users are doing, and how it has a comprehensive overview of the situation. See Urmson show how it handled encountering unusual situations such as someone in a powered wheelchair chasing a duck with a broom. Note Urmson's detailed analysis of how a Google car scraped the side of a bus at 2MPH while maneuvering around sandbags placed in the parking lane.

Now watch Tesla's sped-up video, slowed down to normal speed. (1/4 speed is about right for viewing.)Tesla wouldn't even detect small sandbags; they don't even see traffic cones. Note how few roadside objects they mark. If it's outside the lines, they just don't care. There's not enough info to take evasive action in an emergency. Or even avoid a pothole.

Prediction: 2020 will be the year the big players have self-driving. It will use LIDAR, cameras, and radars. Continental will have a good low-cost LIDAR using the technology from Advanced Scientific Concepts at an affordable price point.

Tesla will try to ship a self-driving system before that while trying to avoid financial responsibility for crashes. People will die because of this.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj-rK8V-rik[2] https://player.vimeo.com/video/192179727

timemachiner 2 days ago 7 replies      
Since it seems to be a thing to report that X person specializing in machine learning has moved from Y company to Z, it makes me wonder if other areas of computer science is seen as relevant by the general public.

One rarely hears Dr. John Doe from Florida State University (or insert non-Standford university here) in Distributed systems has moved from Microsoft Research to NetApp. These are arbitrary names. The point is you rarely hear about people from other areas of CS outside of machine learning/universities outside of Stanford moving from one company to another. The field of CS is vast and there are multitude of practical and theoretical problems outside of machine learning that are worth looking into (ones that aren't currently considered hip or cool by the public).

ccorda 2 days ago 4 replies      
Seems to be taking Chris Lattner's place:


nojvek 2 days ago 1 reply      
I follow Karpathy on Twitter and really enjoy his blog. I do fear that his impact in Tesla could be less than his impact at openai. Openai had some fundamentally great research and ideas.

I wish him that best though. Hopefully some of Tesla algorithms will be open source someday and those of us who can't afford a Tesla will be able to use it as well.

komaromy 2 days ago 3 replies      
Interesting, to move from an Elon-Musk-chaired non-profit to an Elon-Musk-owned for-profit.
cityhall 2 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone have any insight into what the top ML people are being paid right now?
terrble 2 days ago 1 reply      
Karpathy. Car pathy.

* I hate myself for this.

nodesocket 2 days ago 0 replies      
Andrej paired with chip guru Jim Keller [1] (vice president of autopilot hardware engineering) should be an amazing combo.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Keller_(engineer)

foobarqux 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think he'll regret accepting the position. Impossible deadlines are going to force him out in under 12 months.
sjg007 2 days ago 6 replies      
So where does this leave openAi?
colmvp 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is great to hear. Andrej has contributed a lot to DL students worldwide, what with his lectures online and his writeups, that I'm glad he's continuing his upward trajectory. A very inspiring person.
wideem 2 days ago 0 replies      
Haven't thought that Andrej is such a big star in tech and deep learning communities. Which him all the best, his deep learning course was amazing
smithsmith 2 days ago 2 replies      
How old is Andrej Karpathy ? Unable to find on google.
manishmarahatta 2 days ago 0 replies      
so it's done for other car industries :/
du_bing 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wonderful news!
xyzzy4 2 days ago 4 replies      
If A.I. can't fold my laundry, I wouldn't trust it with my car.
throw2bit 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is so hackerynews about this ? Hackernews is turning facebooky with low quality content.
How to use BeyondCorp to ditch VPN, improve security and go to the cloud blog.google
431 points by fhoffa  2 days ago   154 comments top 29
fortyfivan 2 days ago 3 replies      
Great to see them continue this series, and glad that this one touches on what it takes for other companies to achieve something similar. I talk about BeyondCorp a lot as evidence that the Zero Trust model works, and that employees will love it.

The most common feedback I get is that it seems like too much of a stretch for companies that dont operate at Google scale. That may be true if looking at the system as a whole, but the principles behind the architecture should attract anyones attention - remove trust from the network by authenticating and authorizing every request based on whats known about the user and connecting device at the time of the request.

Disclaimer: I work for ScaleFT, a provider of Zero Trust access management solutions.

Edit: If folks are interested in hearing more about how other companies can achieve something similar, here's video of a talk I gave at Heavybit a few months ago on the subject: https://www.heavybit.com/library/blog/beyondcorp-meetup-goog...

jgsec 2 days ago 0 replies      
I commend the Google team for not only deploying an effective and innovative security solution, but also for contributing to security community through this series of informative articles.

Enterprises need to know that while BeyondCorp is Google-specific, there are similar types of open architectures that they can deploy today, most notably the Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP).

SDP is an open architecture from the Cloud Security Alliance, and with it security teams can ensure that:

. All users are authenticated and authorized BEFORE they can access network resources

. Network resources are inaccessible to unauthorized users, dramatically reducing the attack surface

. Fine-grained policies control access for all users remote and on-premises to all resources , whether physical, virtual, or cloud

. All network traffic is encrypted, even if the underlying protocol is insecure

Heres a video of me presenting on Software-Defined Perimeter at the CSA Summit at the 2017 RSA Conferencehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysi_9c5fmBg and a brief overview from our corporate site https://www.cryptzone.com/products/appgate/why-a-software-de...

Disclaimer: I led the CSAs Software-Defined Perimeter working group publication of SDP-for-IaaS, and am leading the current effort to create an SDP Architecture Guide. I also work at Cryptzone, an SDP platform vendor.

yegle 2 days ago 2 replies      
My ex-manager who left Google to another well established company once said the most missed thing from Google was the ability to work remotely right away on corp laptop with BeyondCorp.

Disclaimer I work for Google not related to BeyondCorp.

johnmaguire2013 2 days ago 2 replies      
I work for Duo Security, which this year launched the first major commercial implementation of BeyondCorp as a part of our product offering. Using it to jump on to the wiki, for diff reviews, and other internal resources has been excellent.

In addition to simple primary and second factor, you can design policies for MDM-controlled devices only (i.e. designing endpoints that are trusted for remote access), geolocation, and software versions on a per-application basis, for example.

I think save for a few use cases (SSH into your datacenter, e.g.), VPNs will be dead before we know it.

api 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is really awesome. My own venture ZeroTier (www.zerotier.com) was strongly influenced by the original BeyondCorp paper. Our vision is a little different in that we do network virtualization that treats the whole world like one data center. Instead of eliminating the LAN you make it fully virtual and mobile and replace the physical perimeter with a cryptographic one.

Here's a somewhat over-simplified TL;DR on Google's approach:

Make everything in your company a SaaS app that lives on the Internet via cloud hosting or a proxy.

Nice but not always readily do-able.

JoshMnem 2 days ago 5 replies      
Yesterday, I saw an article[1] about Amazon's plans to block websites in their stores (a very bad thing) and was wondering when a company like Google was going to launch a VPN service. I wonder if these things will meet in the long term. If companies that control the network try to limit access to information about their competitors, then their competitors might try to liberate that information.

[1] http://gizmodo.com/just-in-time-amazon-patents-method-to-pre...

manigandham 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems so completely obvious that it's surprising how common intranets and internal services locked only by network rules are.

Also highly recommend https://www.scaleft.com/ for anyone who wants beyondcorp-style access to infrastructure.

madjam002 2 days ago 1 reply      
How is this different or more secure than let's say TLS client authentication with the private key on a smart card / Yubikey?
rayvd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dumb question - is the 4th article in the series only available via ;login;[1]?

The other articles in the series have PDF links, but not the latest one. I'm assuming it will eventually...

[1] https://www.usenix.org/publications/login/summer2017/peck

com2kid 2 days ago 2 replies      
With productivity apps being cloud hosted (Office 365, Google Docs, Tableau, PowerBI, etc) and with source code and team management services being hosted (Github, Visual Studio Online, Gitlab, etc) huge percent of people's day to day work can seemingly happens without a VPN.

The largest notable exceptions seem to be internal file shares, and remote connections to machines that need to be behind a firewall.

I guess the overall point I have is that with the data files for both productivity and source code being stored cloud side, that VPNs become less and less necessary for a large % of workers.

angry_octet 2 days ago 0 replies      
It almost seems like this could be described as dynamically building a per-user VPN, via inbound proxies for admission control and traffic src/dst filtering, and services hosted behind multiprotocol terminating proxies. Some extra client analysis (practically effective, even if no theoretically valid remote attestation), tedious but necessary work to understand the access patterns for all the internal services, etc.

It seems there can still be lateral re-infection via difficult to patch shared services (finance/procurement/obscure wikis). The examples in one of the papers (delivery people not needing access to financial systems) is completely bogus -- sometimes the worst engineered, most xss-y, mission critical apps have to be accessed by everyone, have insanely hand coded 'business logic', and no docs. Content aware behavioral profiling would seem to have a role in managing that risk.

zxv 2 days ago 3 replies      
Part 3 [0] discusses "Wrapping SSH traffic in HTTP over TLS." Can one comfortably do coding over a good cellular (LTE) connection over this?

I ask because, I find it relatively comfortable to do coding on a chromebook over a 'mosh' session over LTE.

[0] https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.c...

ransom1538 2 days ago 4 replies      
Sorry this will come off as a super dumb question. I use ssh. I can login, edit, develop, run, basically anything. What am I missing? I thought VPNs are for 'admin' types that need access to a MS Excel file.
troymc 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Over the course of the migration weve discovered [Google] services that we thought were long dead..."

Maybe some Google employees were still using Google Reader?

pamatthe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stumbled across beyondcorp.com a few months ago. Great to see google, scaleft, and others pushing the envelope here.
mtgx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Duo Security seems to be offering a BeyondCorp-like third-party solution for client companies:


brianhama 2 days ago 1 reply      
This sounds a lot like Microsoft's DirectAccess which has been in the Enterprise version of Windows since Windows 8. Please correct me if I'm wrong though.
metalliqaz 2 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting. This will never happen at my big company, though. Seems hard to imagine most companies being able to manage the complexity.
VectorLock 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anywhere we can read the publication without being a subscriber to LOGIN?
maxsaltonstall 2 days ago 1 reply      
Link the blog post now points to a downloadable PDF thanks to Google Drive.
macawfish 2 days ago 0 replies      
"We discovered services we thought were long dead..."
coverband 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there a link to the actual (fourth) paper? I only see the abstract.
talles 1 day ago 0 replies      
off topic: I never noticed that there's a .google TLD...
libeclipse 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with VPN?
tempodox 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google wants my traffic for themselves and calls it more secure. Ha ha, nice try.
ddalex 1 day ago 0 replies      
I n k
ddalex 1 day ago 0 replies      
cosarara97 2 days ago 2 replies      
So google bought the .google TLD!
devoply 2 days ago 2 replies      
Yes turn keys over to Google. I am sure if you are an American Fortune 500 company you have no problem with this. Not so if you are a non-American company. Though a lot of people will jump on board despite the huge security implications of doing something like this and turning over all your security over to Google. Meanwhile nation states are exploring how to use quantum encryption to prevent eaves dropping others are being coerced to simply hand over security to a third party that you hardly trust with any sense of privacy.
Verizon is killing Tumblrs fight for net neutrality theverge.com
348 points by allthebest  1 day ago   167 comments top 7
RangerScience 1 day ago 7 replies      
If you're a founder and looking to sell your company, is there anything you can do to guard yourself against these kinds of situations?

I imagine it might be some particular part of a golden handcuff / golden parachute deal, but making it work for everyone involved sounds super hard...

waterphone 1 day ago 3 replies      
They're also forcing all adult-oriented content on Tumblr (which isn't limited to porn, although porn makes up the majority of their userbase) behind a logged-in-users-only wall, blocking it from non-Tumblr users and in turn, external search engine results.


pasbesoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I realize that Verizon and Verizon Wireless are now separate businesses. Nonetheless -- and also because of increasing suckage at Verizon Wireless -- once T-Mobile deploys on its newly acquired lower frequency spectrum and fills in some rural holes I need, I'm going to drop Verizon Wireless like a hot potato.

I wonder how much PR and good will damage/loss Verizon's behavior is generating.

jp_sc 1 day ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: Verizon owns Yahoo now, so it owns Tumblr too.
boogiepoppu 1 day ago 2 replies      
Net neutrality? Don't make me laugh. Yahoo was one of the biggest PRISM benefactors.
yuhong 1 day ago 0 replies      
I strongly suspect that an economic collapse is going to come less than a year after these sales (not just talking about Yahoo). That would be a good time for Verizon to begin selling off its utilities. AOL and Time Warner was another example that happened just before the bubble burst: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Warner#Merger_with_AOL I think this is partly because of how the economy is based on consumption and debt.
fiatjaf 1 day ago 8 replies      
Net neutrality makes internet more expensive for everybody so Torrent and Netflix users can be subsidized.

It looks right, but it is WRONG to "defend" it using law and force.

What works in e-commerce A meta-analysis of online experiments [pdf] qubit.com
403 points by sweezyjeezy  2 days ago   85 comments top 19
tomarr 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you want to see pretty much all the most effective measures in action, go to a ticket reseller like Viagogo and follow something through to the basket. It is both impressive and amazing the amount of psychological steers there are on the site.
bartkappenburg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great research with lots of data and tangible results.

I'm missing 'authority' as way to improve conversion. Funny that they use it themselves in two ways: letting PWC check the results and, in a milder form, using a scientific way of communicating the results (LaTeX, article layout etc). The impact would have been less if it was just a blog post :-). I'm curious about results on authority, maybe someone from qubit can give us some insights on that?

At my company[0] we offer a solution to sites to implement these strategies through notifications/nudges. Having said that: we firmly believe in A/B testing but we believe even more in recognizing (we do that through machine learning) what technique works best on a personal level. This means that a site can have, for example, two strategies and that we apply none, either one or both on the visitor. That way you can reach higher uplifts.

[0] https://www.conversify.com

joe-stanton 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a really useful article. It's a shame that so much development time is wasted on large numbers of fruitless optimisations just because they are "easy" (eg. tweaking the colour of a CTA).

That being said, I'm surprised many of the results are so negative. It would be great to also see the max uplift achieved for each category. A number of retailers I've worked with have been able to beat these uplifts by quite a bit. I wonder if it might be significantly skewed by the kind of clients Qubit has?

cylinder 2 days ago 4 replies      
Well, running a rudimentary eBay store you realize these things help pretty quickly, but it's good to have data.

However... Starting a new e-commerce property? Good luck finding traffic in anything profitable. Amazon and other Giants dominate search rankings so I'm not sure how you will find your traffic unless you create a new niche. Maybe you're a thought leader in a hobbyist space, that can work... But you're not going to be succeeding because of these tricks

inopinatus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Inconsistencies to report.

Page 2:

 scarcity (stock pointers) +2.9% uplift urgency (countdown timers) +2.3% uplift social proof (informing users of others behaviour) +1.5% uplift
Page 6 table 2.2:

 scarcity 2.9% social proof 2.3% urgency 1.5%

nocoder 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting thanks for sharing. As someone working in e-commerce, I was smiling when I saw some of them but it is frustrating on how often these ineffective experiments are repeated.

I would have loved to see the cut of performance by industry/sector. My hunch is some of the things would work really well in travel but not as well in others especially low involvement categories and categories with lower average selling price. It would also be interesting to know the average duration of these A/B tests, I think some of things like scarcity and urgency will have larger effect in the shorter time duration vs others like UI changes which will take a while to produce substantial results, mostly because customers will have to learn new behaviours. Product recommendations is interesting because it is notoriously difficult to get them right and feel they tend to work better in long tail categories like media vs. head heavy categories like mobiles or laptops. They may also not work well in categories where brand influence is high and are generally high involvement and high cost.

1k 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised free shipping has a negative impact on revenue. Worst case I imagine would be that revenue would increase but with less or negative profit.

Likewise most GUI-related tweaks seem to have a negative effect (mobile friendliness, search, navigation). Assuming it gives a better mobile experience, why would anyone spend less - unless the goal is to get them off mobile and onto the desktop.

Silhouette 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing some real data. It's always interesting to see.

I too am surprised to see the conclusions come out as negative as this over such a large overall data set. Just from our own experience, even making quite modest changes to small web sites, it's not that unusual to see the kinds of change that came out with a negative mean in this report actually making a very noticeable positive difference.

I wonder whether this is partly a matter of interpretation and presentation. A lot of the treatments that had a slightly negative mean also had a lot of variance, which suggests that quite often those treatments do work but it's not reliable and requires experimentation to make sure you only keep the genuinely beneficial cases. It seems plausible that there were a few of the "75% improvement in our case study!" kinds of results lost in the long tails, but that what the data is telling us is that those really are outliers and don't happen nearly as often as we might wish.

ifcologne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lot's of interesting data and some findings I didn't expected. Thanks.

What I have missed in this paper is the impact of customer reviews (a 4.5 ranking has a higher uplift potential than a 5.0 star ranking - according to some studies). And the number of reviews has impact as well.Not enough studies around for a meta analysis?

geetfun 2 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone who hangs out on Facebook group e-commerce forums basically have seen the outrageous claims the authors of this paper alludes to.

Nice to see an analysis like this for a change.

JorgeGT 2 days ago 1 reply      
The PwC assurance report URL gives a 404: http://www.qubit.com/sites/default/files/pdf/pwc-qubit-assur...
ssharp 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my experience, the A/B tests that are most likely to win are the ones where you make UX changes designed to make it easier for visitors to do what you want them to do. These not only improve your conversion rates, they are also less spammy and intrusive as things like exit-intent modals. They are also the types of gains that do compound.

Want an easy win? Make mobile checkout better. It's generally the worst. I was on a fairly large, publicly traded, retailer's site over the weekend and had a goofy error that was extremely easy to make on their mobile checkout page. While I was alerted to the error, it also emptied my shopping cart and erased all the address and payment info I spent time typing in.

jameslk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wish they would have evaluated the effect of dynamic pricing. That is, showing different prices to different visitors for the same product. Perhaps not enough online retailers employ the practice, although it seems to be an important tool for retailers like Amazon[0].

0. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/how-onl...

hahamrfunnyguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've done the countdown timer thing before, but not in a sleazy way like Viagogo. I've done limited-time sales where the item starts at a percentage off and gradually increases to full price. It seems to work well.
iagovar 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's good to see an analysis, albeit most of this info was common knowledge, maybe except call to action buttons causing a decrease. I thought it was the opposite.

Sometimes factoring all variables when doing testing becomes impossible.

Systemic33 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of these are brilliantly displayed with varying degrees of integration and success on airline pages. [1],[2]

[1] http://sas.dk (Search for e.g. Copenhagen -> London)

[2] http://lufthansa.com (Search for e.g. Frankfurt -> Copenhagen)

ronack 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is interesting but I definitely question some of the results, for instance reporting a negative impact for changing search results. Many businesses have been built on improving conversion through search result optimization.
lostphilosopher 2 days ago 2 replies      
This was really interesting. Thanks for posting it. Does anyone know of a place to find similar content? (Analysis of web trends and practices from a data driven perspective.)
Iv 2 days ago 7 replies      
tl;dr: The 3 items possibly statistically significant are:

- Saying there are just a handful items left in stock (+2.9% revenue per client)- Saying other people are watching this product (+2.3%)- Time limited offer (+1.5%)

I did not see mention of combining these factors. I doubt the gains are cumulative.

My main takeaway is that most optimizations are not worthy if you have the opportunity to spend your time/money on something else to bring value to the consumer.

Also, I think #1 and #3 are dick moves and #2 needs some good crafting to not be. I doubt the cost in reputation is worth the increase in revenue.

Masahiro Kikuno, Japanese Independent Watchmaker watchesbysjx.com
410 points by Whitespace  1 day ago   100 comments top 15
robert_tweed 1 day ago 5 replies      
I see he has a copy of "Watchmaking" by George Daniels. That is the "Knuth" of watchmaking.

Here in Britain, we have Roger W Smith, the only watchmaker in the world who makes everything by hand. He was the principal disciple of George Daniels, a truly legendary watchmaker, who sadly died a few years ago.

Daniels famously taught himself watchmaking by taking apart old clocks, putting them back together and repairing them when he was young. If he had been born in the digital age, he'd have been a hacker comparable to Woz.

He didn't just make his own watches, he also made all the specialised tools needed. These days he is perhaps best known for the Daniels Co-Axial Escapement found in some Omega watches, which for many years was believed to be impossible to make.

If you google Roger Smith, he has lots of interesting videos on Youtube showing various parts of the watchmaking process from raw materials.

There are a few interviews with George Daniels too. Here's one talking about his first complete, from scratch watch:


mc32 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's great to see people like him and others like messersmiths such as Cut Brooklyn, swordsmakers, etc. continue the tradition of hand-made precision[1] products and doing it themselves rather than designing and then farming out the work to others or automating the process.

It is, though, a kind of double edged sword. On the one hand they continue centuries-long traditions, on the other hand they get copted by hipsterish connoisseurs who work for companies feverishly contributing to the demise of traditional craft in the name of efficiency and doing things better.

In addition, many of these products are not unnecessarily anachronistic (like say making an electronic device with discrete components and hand made pcbs).

Bravo to these people.

[1] By precision I mean they must follow a meticulous process to achieve near-perfection of result.

coolswan 1 day ago 3 replies      
This reminds me actually a lot of Jiro Ono (famed sushi-maker).

"Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That's the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably."

zer00eyz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I love watchmakers, it is such a blend of skills that I don't even know where to begin with my praise or interest in the field.

I just want to throw out there that Dan Spitz, of Anthrax fame makes watches as well, and has an interesting story too.


BatFastard 1 day ago 3 replies      
Permanence - One of the beautiful things about these watches is they will be treasures for hundreds of years.

I serious doubt anyone will look back at my code in one hundred years and be amazed by the beauty. Not that it is not beautiful, software just doesn't feel like it has any lasting permanence.

You can create amazing things with software but does any implementation actually have permanence?

thjan 1 day ago 13 replies      
Since so many knowledgeable people interested in watches are around here ... What are some affordable, good quality watch brands? Somewhere around 100 to 300 Euro maybe? I like those beautiful, elegant designed watches but 10k EUR upwards is way out of my league.
Bakary 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What a fascinating man.

I'm slowly starting to fantasize about having a job where I can create actual objects myself and my work has a tangible effect rather than some zero-sum value shuffling.

syntaxing 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what milling machine he has? It has such a weird collet holder and spindle.
sshanky 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't discern from the article whether or not he actually makes movements. It says that "The hairspring, mainspring, jewels, crystal and leather strap are bought from suppliers, primarily Seiko subsidiaries." However, I imagine he buys entire movements and concentrates on the case, face, hands, and other aesthetic elements.
Strategizer 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Crazy, cool and complex stuff. Those pieces belong in a museum...or on my wrist.

Double kudos for the Pentax and the truly amazing 100mm f2.8 macro lens he uses. I have it and it's fantastic.

sapphire_tomb 1 day ago 4 replies      
Anyone know if there's a mirror somewhere?

Hackernews' "Eye of Sauron" affect seems to have nobbled the site.

somecallitblues 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Although they're quite kitsch and not something I'd wear, good on him for taking on something not many people would dare these days.
monk_e_boy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Well... that's the first I've every heard of seasonal time. That's amazing.


ValleyOfTheMtns 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Does he have an Etsy shop?
fake-name 1 day ago 1 reply      
AMD's Future in Servers: New 7000-Series CPUs Launched and EPYC Analysis anandtech.com
362 points by satai  2 days ago   144 comments top 16
DuskStar 2 days ago 7 replies      
4 dies per package is a pretty interesting way of doing things - probably helps yields immensely, but I can't imagine it does anything good for intra-processor latency. 142 ns to ping a thread on a different CCX within a die isn't too horrible, but I really want to know what sort of penalty you'll have from going to a different die within a package.
mastazi 2 days ago 1 reply      
For anyone looking for info about the socket:

* Epyc uses socket SP3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_SP3

* Threadripper uses socket TR4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_TR4

* Sockets SP3 and TR4 have the same number of pins (4094 pins) and they have the same cooler bracket mount (see https://www.overclock3d.net/news/cases_cooling/noctua_showca... )

* However they are still two separate sockets so you shouldn't expect to be able to use Epyc on TR4 or Threadripper on SP3

myrandomcomment 2 days ago 2 replies      
I would really love it if there was a benchmark around running VMs and containers for something like this. Our dev/test system is all docker containers so that is what we would care about.

I guess it would be hard as there are to many ways to scale out what you run - how many VMs, how many containers, what are you running in them? It would be an interesting benchmark matrix to sort for.

It would be interesting just to see how many containers you could start, run lighttpd and each server a static web page? Maybe 1/2 with the page and 1/2 with an application that builds the page? Who knows...to many variables.

I think we will just by a system when we can and try our workload on it. Oh, well.

hyperbovine 2 days ago 5 replies      
Soooo the Linux kernel now compiles in 15.6 seconds. Jeebus I feel old...
dbcooper 2 days ago 1 reply      
satai 2 days ago 2 replies      
1 socket 16 / 32 @ 2.9GHz max for $700+... it looks like 16 core Threadripper with reasonable frequencies for less then $999 looks in reach...
girst 2 days ago 0 replies      
intel had a monopoly on high-end chipsets for _far_ too long. I'm glad, there is some competition.
gbrown_ 2 days ago 5 replies      
Those TDPs look pretty high, what are vendors willing to put into 1U high 0.5U wide style servers with 2 sockets these days? Last I looked I seem to recall it was around up to 145W.
bsaul 2 days ago 6 replies      
A bit off topic, but does anyone knows if AI ( aka modern neural networks) plays a role in cpu design nowadays ?
nik736 2 days ago 4 replies      
Why does AMD compare their single socket CPUs to Intels E5-2XXX line? Intel has E5-1XXX single socket CPUs.
jnordwick 2 days ago 2 replies      
I didn't see any info on the cpu cache architecture which governs performance for many applications now.

Anybody have any info on things like L0 to L2 size, type, latencies, etc?

greptomania 1 day ago 2 replies      
While I'm excited to see AMD's offering, as a scientific-HPC user I can't help but wonder how much marketshare AMD will be able to gain without more information on supporting software - specifically good compilers + math libraries (cf. Intel compilers + MKL).

Strangely, I've not seen much on HN, or elsewhere, make mention of AMD's software support. Is this because it doesn't exist, or because compilers are less "sexy" than shiny new hardware?

Keyframe 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's the SSEs and AVXs performance like on Ryzen/EPYC compared to intel?
irishjohnnie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow! AMD EPYC + Xilinx FPGA!
garaetjjte 2 days ago 2 replies      
>In this case, an EPYC 7281 in single socket mode is listed as having +63% performance (in SPECint) over a dual socket E5-2609v4 system.

So, quad-CPU is faster than dual-CPU? Not surprising.

Netflix Originals: Production and Post-Production Requirements v2.1 netflix.com
373 points by Vagantem  1 day ago   203 comments top 22
Animats 11 hours ago 2 replies      
James Cameron ("Avatar", "Titanic", etc.) used to argue that high frame rate was more important than higher resolution. If you're not in the first few rows of the theater, he once pointed out, you can't tell if it's 4K anyway. Everyone in the theater benefits from high frame rate. This may be less of an issue now that more people are watching on high-resolution screens at short range.

Cameron likes long pans over beautifully detailed backgrounds. Those will produce annoying strobing at 24FPS if the pan rate is faster than about 7 seconds for a frame width. Staying down to that rate makes a scene drag.

Now, Cameron wants to go to 4K resolution and 120FPS.[1] Cameron can probably handle that well; he's produced most of the 3D films that don't suck. He's going to give us a really nice visual tour of the Avatar world. For other films, that may not help. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" was recorded in 3D, 4K resolution and 120FPS. Reviews were terrible, because it's 1) far too much resolution for close-ups, and 2) too much realism for war scenes. Close-ups are a problem - do you really want to see people's faces at a level of detail useful only to a dermatologist? It also means prop and costume quality has to improve.

The other issue with all this resolution is that it's incompatible with the trend towards shorter shot lengths. There are action films with an average shot length below 1 second. For music videos, that's considered slow; many of those are around 600ms per shot.[2] They're just trying to leave an impression, not show details.

[1] https://www.polygon.com/2016/10/31/13479322/james-cameron-av...[2] http://www.cinemetrics.lv/database.php?sort=asl

mmastrac 23 hours ago 6 replies      
This likely gives them confidence that if they were to remaster for a different color-space or higher resolution, that they could. For a 4K original shot in 8K, Netflix could send it back through the production process for a more reasonable cost and be able to launch the title quickly.

I'm surprised they don't ask for VFX sources to be archived though. ST:TNG and Babylon 5 both suffered badly from loss of the original VFX.

coldtea 18 hours ago 7 replies      
To paraphrase Bill Gates (who never actually said the original, but anyway) 4K should be enough for everybody.

Having seen 1080p stretch and play nicely on a 30 feet cinema screen, and not being much worse looking from regular Hollywood titles even for front seat viewing, I don't see the allure of 8K even for "future-proofing".

Sure, monitors and tvs might improve their resolution in the future. But I don't se human eyes improving much (regarding angular resolution vs distance) or houses getting any bigger to fit a 30ft tv.

4K is good for reframing (cropping) and higher detail, but after some point enough is enough.

eponeponepon 21 hours ago 4 replies      
That's beautifully clear - I wish I worked with specifications so lucid. I've got almost no real knowledge of the field it's governing, but I believe I would know how to successfully shoot some footage that Netflix would accept off the back of reading it.

One thing intrigues me though - albeit likely a function of my lack of knowledge on the matter - do these requirements implicitly rule out shooting on film for Netflix?

(I mean, I'm sure that ${hollywood-bigshot} could negotiate, but for Joe Public..?)

robodale 23 hours ago 2 replies      
...And that my friends, is how you layout specs. Simple enough for anyone to read and understand, yet concrete enough to minimize interpretation variances. Love that change log.
indescions_2017 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, that Canon EOS C700 is a symphony of light capturing technology, though.

Here's a sample "A Day in Kyoto" shot at 4K 120fps raw:


code4tee 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I always find the idea of future proofing interesting here. Like the way Seinfeld reruns are in HD even though the technology didn't really exist at the time--because they shot a TV show in actual film and then could re-scan it later to keep up with modern tech.

Crazy expensive but obviously given the value of those reruns the cost made sense.

ldite 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, this is pretty scanty. For comparison, the BBC's technical requirements:


devmunchies 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like another post going into more depth on audio (sound design, mixing, mastering...). I've seen a few things on Netflix where the bad audio engineering totally ruined the experience.
olegkikin 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm surprised they don't allow UHD resolution (38402160). There are probably a few people in the world who can reliably tell the difference with true 4K.

An average person can't even tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

Justin_K 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish they'd push for 4K 60FPS so they could upgrade their releases to this in the future.
Havoc 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain the 24fps to me? It seems out of place old-school in light of the 4K & 240Mbps etc.
joshuak 19 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really tragic to watch. I like Netflix in many respects but this is just incompetent. Not one Academy Award Winning film for best picture would qualify for these specs. Not one. I expect very few if any nominees either.

The Arri Alexa is eliminated by these specs, for crying out loud. The single most popular camera amongst high end feature cinematographers.

This is driven by some misguided belief that input resolution == output resolution AND that resolution is the measure of quality.

I really hope they get their head out of their asses on this at some point.

It's good to have quality standards, and thank god they aren't Turner Classic Movies (the fuck was that all about??). But these specs are as arbitrary as saying all of your food must be cooked in copper cookware.

We tell stories, not pixels.

gwbas1c 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if Netflix is experiencing quality problems? Sometimes the lower-budget content that's a few years old looks pixelated or over-compressed. In these cases, it's somewhat obvious that whoever produced it just didn't know better.
Kaedon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so, so glad I don't have to care about deliverables requirements anymore. Every studio has totally different set of requirements that are as complex as this and it's a real bear to make sure you're fully in compliance with them.
samstave 22 hours ago 3 replies      
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tomc1985 19 hours ago 0 replies      
These are the kinds of high-quality production standards that all companies should employ. Technical excellence above all else
yodon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Do they have a similar Pre-Production requirements doc?
exabrial 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Only 24fps? Wow
Glyptodon 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I assume this doesn't particularly apply to documentaries and such?
ryaneager 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Now if they would stream UHD content at 240 Mbps, they would almost double the quality of UHD Blu-ray (144 Mbps). Or any increase of the 15.6 Mbps they are using now.
Dpackers 23 hours ago 1 reply      
This is Netflix setting the standard for the whole industry.
Wal-Mart is telling some vendors they cant run applications on AWS foxbusiness.com
360 points by JakeWesorick  2 days ago   386 comments top 39
__d__ 1 day ago 10 replies      
I sold to Walmart for 4 years. In the beginning we believed we were lucky to become vendors. Then we realized how much stress they created. Every single year they would short pay our invoices. We would have to submit a claim with Walmart accounting. This process was completely and utterly time consuming. But the worst of it, they wouldn't pay the invoices owed until a year later. It's hard to float a $100,000 short pay as a small business.

They did much more and I was surprised that they existed this way in business

KirinDave 2 days ago 18 replies      
This is... Not the best? That Wal-Mart is powerful enough to dictate the internal business practice and tech decisions of it's vendor.

On the other hand, Amazon is a massive immoral monster devouring the US economy and replacing it with something vaguely worse, year by year. It's rapidly approaching a "too big to be allowed to fail" status, and that's awful for Americans. Since anti-trust laws weren't written by a generation able to envison entities like this and the current political climate is that they'd rather die than appear anti-business... I guess the only entities with the power to push back against Amazon are in fact the other major corporate vendors.

gregatragenet3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems as if this is a reasonable request, which is being framed as an unreasonable one.

WalMart has asked a Data-Warehousing service (via its customer) to please not do what it does - data-warehouse internal information about sales, revenue, etc - on their retail-competitor's servers. Data which could give Amazon sensitive inside information on WalMart's operations and financials..

I dono if they've made other less-reasonable requests, but the example provided in the article is completely reasonable.

I always find it a ironic when I've interacted with startups which have a plan to bring some disruptive thing to market that potentially competes with Amazon or Google, and yet route all their data and communication through these platforms. :)

snowwolf 2 days ago 14 replies      
Is this because they actively want to discourage any revenue going Amazon's way from Wal-Mart related business activities, or because they don't trust Amazon not to look at the data hosted on their platform?

If the latter, then I think that's just extreme paranoia. If there was ANY evidence of Amazon doing that it would destroy everyones trust in AWS and I suspect people wouldn't be able to move away fast enough (Which actually long term would be good for Wal-Mart).

throwawaymanbot 2 days ago 3 replies      
If Wal-Mart decrees this, put up or shut up. Welcome to business.

CEO Diktats about using not using competitor services for anything whatsoever, are as old as Microsoft. Wal-mart is not in the cloud business, so I can only wonder if, as others have commented, it is about data security in AWS domain, since Wal-Mart's main competitor is Amazon.

We know what Google and Facebook get up to with peoples data, why would Amazon not analyze or try similar to their customers? To have all that technical capability and not be curious about stuff would be a waste.

Finally, I think it would be great for everyone (except Amazon), if wal-mart got in to the cloud. Using their leverage to create cheaper cloud would benefit us all.

ilamont 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wal-mart has expected vendors to bow to its methods and policies for years, no matter how unreasonable or inconvenient. The carrot dangled in front of vendors: The possibility of massive nationwide sales.

Now they are dealing with a much more nimble and capable competitor. Yes, Amazon has its own unreasonable policies that squeeze vendors, but at least they have reasonable tech in place and they move fast when it comes to support and service. Case in point: Applying to be a third-party seller on Amazon takes days, Wal-mart Marketplace takes 6 weeks.

I am not sure if this latest Walmart policy reflects incompetence, misguided policy, dirty tricks, or a combination of the three, but it serves to push vendors away from Walmart and into Amazon's tight embrace.

nargella 2 days ago 1 reply      
Years ago I read The Wal-Mart Effect. Basically it was a whole slew of industries that Walmart had dramatically affected. Things like forcing vendors to manufacture in China and building a crazy infrastructure to get 'fresh' Salmon imported from Chile.

I got the impression they would turn the screws on industries to get cost savings via scale. This move seems odd.

ajarmst 2 days ago 2 replies      
I know there's some complexity here, but let's just take a minute to marvel at the phenomena of Walmart complaining about another company's excessive dominance and potential to apply monopolistic power.
tdburn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Amazon does similar practises, like not selling Chromecast/apple TV etc on their site. Is this instance of AWS blockage a big deal? probably not. I wonder if it just slows down Walmarts efforts
djhworld 2 days ago 3 replies      
> It shouldnt be a big surprise that there are cases in which wed prefer our most sensitive data isnt sitting on a competitors platform,

Ok sounds reasonable from an information security standpoint

> Snowflake Computing Inc., a data-warehousing service, was approached by a Wal-Mart client about handling its business from the retailer, Chief Executive Bob Muglia said. The catch: Snowflake had to run those services on Azure.


michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 4 replies      
Interesting that Netflix (biggest competitor to Amazon Prime Video) still is on AWS. Not sure who is being savvy and who is being short sighted.
retailtech 2 days ago 1 reply      
I work in retailtech and this feeling is very common across retailers. Everyone feels like amazon is their biggest competitor and they don't want any of their money going (even indirectly) to amazon. Especially when the technology in question is supposed to help them compete better against amazon.
coldcode 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder if this is restraint of trade and illegal. It's as if they are telling retailers they can't sell to Walmart and Target.
raverbashing 2 days ago 0 replies      
Walmart is notorious for wanting their suppliers to run the way they want it

Might be cheaper to not sell to them (though revenue might suffer)

kennydude 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Tactics like this are bad for business and customers,

Because Amazon's tactics aren't bad for business or consumers?

opensourcenews 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wal-mart, with a large IT cost center, benefits from a diverse and competitive cloud infrastructure ecosystem. More at 11.
EternalData 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems more petty than anything. Though it's strange to see just how complex Amazon has become as a company.
Animats 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not product vendors. Vendors offering a service which handles Wal-Mart data.
zghst 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a really bad tactic, even if it's just a rumor, it'd devastating. Exerting a level of control only breeds contempt, Amazon now has free leeway to gain more partners and give more AWS credits.

Not to mention Walmart already has a reputation for being the bottom barrel brand, they can't compete with Amazon on price, Amazon even has leeway to increase the value of its products and services and say "we're not Walmart".

amatecha 1 day ago 0 replies      
Huh, I feel like this story (and even moreso the comments on this post) are good reminders not to shop at Wal-Mart, at least for me.
dkarapetyan 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is how you know you've lost. When you are more obsessed with what your competition is doing than worrying about what you're doing.
laurentoget 1 day ago 0 replies      
Being aws only is probably a risky strategy for any Saas vendor anyway so at least this requirement is forcing vendors to make an investment (porting their app to gcp or azure) which would make sense anyway.
Cofike 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't go to Walmart because of how they treat their employees, the nonsense they pull with their vendors, and now this.

The thing is that I'm not actually sure if any of the alternatives engage in this kind of practice as well.

mdasen 2 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like Morningstar has the same article, non-paywalled: https://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/retail/TDJNDN_201...
losteverything 2 days ago 0 replies      
Walmart finds ways for vendors, suppliers, etc to cut their costs so they can pass savings on.

Maybe an AWS price increase potential is a risk they dont want to take

sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of when pepsi bought (Pizza hut, taco bell, KFC). Still hard to find pepsi at pizza places and they spun it off in 97'.
petraeus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Americans lol, want a $29 lawnmower and then turn a blind eye to the supply side of said economics.
mml 1 day ago 0 replies      
strange, but true: bought a tv on amazon, came delivered in a giant sam's club box. walmart/sam's club are current amazon merchants.
anonacct37 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everyone seems overlook one sentence:

> they can't run applications for the retailer

Wal-mart doesn't really want it's data on Amazon servers. Amazon is pretty aggressive about mining any available data on competitors.

iii_3candles 1 day ago 0 replies      
So the world's biggest capitalist economy is being reduced to two giants battling each other, after they swallow everyone else.

Amazon buys Comcast. The End.

droithomme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is the use of "vendors" in the title misleading? The title suggests it refers to people who are supplying WalMart with pickles and paper towels to sell.

But it seems to refer to tech contracting firms who are implementing software services for WalMart. WalMart is saying they do not want their proprietary algorithms and information running on servers owned by their main competitor. That is very reasonable and sensible.

nebabyte 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whoever wins (spoilers: Amazon), big business wins! Story of America.
throwitlong 2 days ago 0 replies      
eBay owning Paypal.

Paypal owning lots and lots of revenue data of eBay competitors.

snarfy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't read the article.
empath75 1 day ago 5 replies      
If libertarians don't realize that the system they're advocating for is essentially corporate feudalism, they're suckers. I'd rather have a powerful government accountable to voters than a powerful corporate oligarchy that is only accountable to shareholders.
pen2l 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Amazon's rise as the dominant player in renting on-demand, web-based computing power and storage has put some competitors, such as Netflix Inc., in the unlikely position of relying on a corporate rival as they move to the cloud.

Oh yeah, Netflix is on AWS. Amazon is doing pretty much everything, I expect/predict in another two years they will launch a music streaming site a la Google Music/Spotify.

013a 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm ok with this. I think the fear of important BI data entering a competitor's platform is real. Yes, its a bit of a tinfoil hat, but if the cost of using a different platform like Azure or GCP is roughly the same... I'm fine with it.

Here's an analogy. Let's say Walmart rented out space on their trucks to any company that needed it. Would Amazon be crazy to tell retailers on their platform that they can't use Walmart trucks, or they don't want Walmart trucks driving up to their loading bays? I don't think so. Corporate espionage is a real thing.

Its just a bonus that Amazon is a garbage company who deserves as little business as possible.

perseusprime11 2 days ago 4 replies      
This is stupid! Walmart is loosing it. Generally happens when you are getting ready to lose, you start becoming erratic. Everybody forgets how WalMart single handedly destroyed the mom and pop shops of America putting them out of jobs.
Erlang/OTP 20.0 erlang.org
387 points by okket  1 day ago   93 comments top 14
rdtsc 1 day ago 5 replies      
Some things I like from the new release:

* Dirty schedulers: This allows easy integration of blocking C-based libraries. So for example can wrap something like RocksDb and make it available to the rest of the VM easier. Or libcurl and others.

* DTLS : This lets it talk to WebRTC clients

* Erlang literals are no longer copied when sending messages : This is kinda of a sneaky one. By default (with exception of large binaries) Erlang VM usually copies data when it sends messages. However, in this case module literals (constants, strings, etc) will be another thing that's not copied. There is a hack to dynamically compile configuration values or other tables of constants as a module at runtime. So if you use that hack, you'd get a nice performance boost.

* code_change, terminate and handle_info callbacks optional in the OTP behaviors. This is very nice. I always wondered why I had to write all that boiler plate code.

Also here is a detailed list of changes:


marianoguerra 1 day ago 3 replies      
if you want to get started but don't know where this is a good place to start:


there's a online course by Simon Thompson from the University of Kent that started 2 days ago, you may be able to join:


if you like the ideas but want to try something different there are alternative languages that run on the Erlang VM:

* Elixir with a ruby-like syntax: https://elixir-lang.org/

* LFE (Lisp Flavoured Erlang): http://lfe.io/

* Efene with a python-like syntax: http://efene.org/

and one in development but already looking really interesting: Alpaca, an ML inspired language: https://github.com/alpaca-lang/alpaca

sho 1 day ago 3 replies      
My favourite feature - shell history finally in core! That's been a possibly irrational but personally annoying omission for years, and required messy hacks to get around - not a good beginner experience for what I consider to be pretty basic functionality.

It's enabled by an envar as described by the hero who cleaned up the hack and ported it here: https://github.com/ferd/erlang-history

marianoguerra 1 day ago 5 replies      
Also the docs got a facelift: http://erlang.org/doc/

Now that we are talking Erlang:

What's missing in Erlang that would be valuable to you?

What are the biggest pain points right now on the Erlang ecosystem that makes it harder for you to try it/adopt it?

di4na 1 day ago 0 replies      
Something that most people seems to have missed

> The non SMP Erlang VM is deprecated and not built by default

In 2017, most languages are still fighting to get a multicore implementation. Erlang is ditching their single core one.

chx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Let's note that Elixir is already compatible with it. Phoenix/Elixir, I feel, is the future of web apps.
thedaemon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just an FYI Wings3D http://www.wings3d.com/ is built with Erlang. It is a Symbolics style 3d Modelling application using the Winged Edge data structure.
lokedhs 1 day ago 4 replies      
I have tried on multiple occasions to learn and use Erlang for some different projects.

My process has always been stopped by a few specific things, and I end up going back to Common Lisp, which tends to be much easier to get to work.

My first problem is to make sense out of how to actually run a server application. Manually compiling source files and run functions is one thing, but trying to actually set up an application with all the monitors and stuff is really annoyingly hard. Even following step-by-step instructions resulted in errors that I didn't understand as soon as I tried to do anything outside what the tutorial showed.

The second issue that I have never managed to properly solve is how to use libraries. In particular, I have wanted to use the client libraries for RabbitMQ and CouchDB (both written in Erlang, so you'd expect it to be simple). The instructions how to install the libraries usually doesn't match the thing you actually download.

I've also tried to use the EDTS in Emacs, which is pretty nice, but as soon as I try to use a library, it can never find the hrl files.

I really want to use Erlang, but the difficulty of actually getting started with a real project as opposed to simple tutorial stuff has been extremely frustrating.

brian_herman 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is there like a why's poignant guide to ruby for erlang?http://poignant.guide/book/
atemerev 1 day ago 2 replies      
Erlang is awesome. The only problem preventing me to use it where I want to is terrible file I/O performance, especially on writes. I tried to Google the solution, but it seems that there isn't anything generally accepted for the moment.
wtian2000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Somewhat irrelevant, but I noticed that the copyright line at the bottom still says "Copyright 1999-2016 Ericsson AB". Should it be updated to 2017?
desireco42 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is probably better page to look, as I don't actively look at Erlang, but as Elixir developer I am very interested in it.


2017throw 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favourite DSL!
lngnmn 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems that the source build is broken. At least a straightforward attempt to build otp from github sources with latest clang/lld has been failed.
Firefox 56 supports headless mode on Windows mozilla.org
332 points by sohkamyung  1 day ago   85 comments top 17
celerity 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I just finished writing an article that explains how to connect WebDriver to Firefox running in the new headless mode on Windows if anybody's interested: https://intoli.com/blog/running-selenium-with-headless-firef...

It should be pretty similar on Linux, and probably macOS when it comes around.

scardine 1 day ago 3 replies      
Is there a linux headless mode already? Selenium chrome driver headless is pretty much useless in linux because important methods like `send_keys` need X anyway for keyboard mappings or something like that.
robk 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's not very clear how to actually use this in a test environment like Selenium etc. At least with headless Chrome there are libraries now to drive it via the remote debug protocol like https://github.com/LucianoGanga/simple-headless-chrome

This feels a little nicer than Selenium as it's one less layer of abstraction.

EDIT: guess from other comments WebDriver is the right method to access.

zlagen 1 day ago 3 replies      
Do you need to use selenium to control Firefox in headless mode or does it have something lower level like Chrome's devtools protocol?
whysohard 1 day ago 4 replies      
What are the biggest challenges when implementing headless mode? I'm asking cause this feature took some time to be delivered both in Firefox and Chrome and I always assumed that it should be 'pretty' straightforward to implement.Is it that both engines were coupled with GUI libs?
arunitc 1 day ago 7 replies      
I was wondering if I could use this (using a plugin) or Chrome to generate PDF files on the web server. Most of the PDF generation software out there are quite expensive.
anotheryou 1 day ago 3 replies      
So I can navigate by cardinal directions now (like scrolling south a bit)?

Joke aside: can somone explain "headless" to me here?

jalfresi 1 day ago 1 reply      
How is it controlled when in headless mode? Still via Webdriver or does Firefox support Chrome Debugger Protocol?
CloudQA 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Great! This will help us run selenium tests much faster.
eberkund 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It is good to see some competition, I would hate to see automated tests being done purely in Chrome simply because it is the simplest browser to setup in headless mode.
heisenbit 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Firefox 55 introduced major changes in the process model. My scrolling on the Mac is slow and not smooth. Others have reported the same. Maybe focusing on stabilizing this big change over one or two releases would be a good thing?

Of course headless is also needed as the PhantomJS solution is not maintained anymore since April. See discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14105489

oneplane 21 hours ago 1 reply      
But can you really run windows headless? I thought even the Server Core and IoT versions wanted some sort of GPU even just to display a blue/blank screen.
jscholes 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone know if this supports audio playback?
goferito 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Please don't forget about Linux
tmaly 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Are there some examples available for this? I would love to replace some of my PhantomJS stuff
ttoinou 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does that mean we'll soon have an alternative to ElectronJS / NWJS based on Firefox ? (Positron :p ?)
pmlnr 1 day ago 5 replies      

Poke me when there are no X11/Qt/GTK/whatever dependencies at all - that is headless.


Algorithm generates practical paper-folding patterns to produce any 3D structure mit.edu
337 points by edwinksl  1 day ago   46 comments top 18
cr0sh 23 hours ago 3 replies      
I hope the algorithm becomes published and unencumbered by any onerous restrictions. I understand that this is a unique system, though - and likely one where patents and other "protections" could be taken out for the method and implementations.

But right now, all we have to "play with" is a window binary. I understand that there is supposed to be a paper published in the future; I would love to see this algorithm implemented into something more "universal", if nothing else.

Again, though, I can also see why such an algorithm could be protected - I am certain there are more than a few commercial applications for it, and perhaps in areas that have little to nothing to do with origami (for instance - and I am probably completely off base here - could this be applied in some manner to understanding protein folding?).

greydius 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out [1] for videos of Erik Demaine's lectures on folding. Also, I highly recommend the videos for the algorithms and data structures courses he's taught/co-taught ([2] for example)

[1] https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-compu...

[2] https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-compu...

specialist 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Ages ago...

I wrote print production (prepress) software. One of my inventions was an algorithm that converted book binding steps into impositions, as needed. (All previous solutions relied on catalogs of manually created "templates", for reuse, customization, etc.)


I'm now very curious if this general purpose origami algorithm can be used for the same purpose.

lovelettr 23 hours ago 2 replies      
There was a really great NOVA episode, "The Origami Revolution" [1][2], that I believe covered this exact same algorithm. As I recall at the time of the recording for the NOVA episode it was still under development.

[1] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/origami-revolution.html

[2] http://www.pbs.org/video/2365955827/

sohkamyung 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I was wondering what Robert Lang [1] makes of this. Looks like he approves of it. Its very impressive stuff, says Robert Lang, one of the pioneers of computational origami and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, who in 2001 abandoned a successful career in optical engineering to become a full-time origamist. It completes what I would characterize as a quest that began some 20-plus years ago: a computational method for efficiently folding any specified shape from a sheet of paper. Along the way, there have been several nice demonstrations of pieces of the puzzle: an algorithm to fold any shape, but not very efficiently; an algorithm to efficiently fold particular families of tree-like shapes, but not surfaces; an algorithm to fold trees and surfaces, but not every shape. This one covers it all! The algorithm is surprisingly complex, but that arises because it is comprehensive. It truly covers every possibility. And it is not just an abstract proof; it is readily computationally implementable.

[1] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Lang ]

jcl 13 hours ago 2 replies      
A video of one of the authors folding a bunny model like the one in the article:


zitterbewegung 22 hours ago 0 replies      
So this is a computer that is a 3D Paper Printer?

Jokes aside [1] the mathematics of paper folding is extremely interesting. The most interesting thing is that you can solve fourth degree equations with origami [2] .

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_of_paper_folding[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huzita%E2%80%93Hatori_axioms

pavel_lishin 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The science-fiction fan in me is now imagining a robot whose structure is a flat sheet of material, that can reconfigure itself into any form it needs.
kadavero 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Solving origami (2d) was the task of 2017 ICFP programming contest.I wonder how this MIT approach would work for that task.


sdwisely 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing the difference between this and something like pepakura (http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/) is it doesn't use cuts?
GregBuchholz 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone have recommendations on: "How to Fold It: The Mathematics of Linkages, Origami, and Polyhedra" by Joseph O'Rourke?


mmjaa 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to use this to build airfoils and flying devices .. anyone had a chance to play with it? Is it feasible to import a plane model, and end up with a 3D paper airplane like never seen before?
MikeTLive 22 hours ago 0 replies      
would be amazing to see the Rubic'sCube and Chess speed solvers burn this algorithm into their heads and start a competition to replicate a provided item.
Kequc 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It looks like it just goes low-poly, all triangles as is pretty normal. Then maybe links some of the triangles together, ultimately telling you how many paper triangles how many different sizes to make.
mendeza 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Could this be applied to UV/texture mapping? I can see reversing the folding would be really helpful to texture map more easily.
rocky1138 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Can we build homes of sheet metal with this?
hyfgfh 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Even Wams?
14 People Make 500K Tons of Steel a Year in Austria bloomberg.com
297 points by anjalik  1 day ago   223 comments top 20
Animats 1 day ago 2 replies      
That's a hot rolling mill. They're not making steel, just forming it. The old, messy plant next door makes the steel.

Better hot rolling mills have been mechanized for a long time. Here's a plain rebar mill in Delhi that's for sale.[1] There must be some people around somewhere, but they're not near the machinery when it's working. The machinery is huge, but not computerized. On the other hand, here's a rolling mill in India that has lots of people handling hot metal with tongs.[2] That's about where the US was in 1935.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW0jAMxAN3Y[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-lGaC8OJGs

MrBuddyCasino 1 day ago 1 reply      
Slightly click-baity headline:

"While about 300 other workers in Donawitz carry out support roles such as shipping logistics and running the internal rail system, the rolling mill itself will be operated by just over a dozen people."

guimarin 1 day ago 15 replies      
We should not be employing people in jobs that can be automated. We should try and automate everything. We should develop technologies, processes, and abilities so that everyone can learn new things. The people that want to learn will be incredibly leveraged and provide a ton of value to society. Those who don't want to learn should be given enough for basic subsistence. A stipend which covers food, shelter, clothing, catastrophic healthcare, reasonable water access, and unlimited data. I would also push that all humans can be close to nature in some way, be it a park or otherwise. We have the technology to do this. Instead we have protectionism and fear.
mbroshi 1 day ago 3 replies      
"The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment." - Warren Bennis
strict9 1 day ago 1 reply      
Similar story for Gary, a once booming town around a single industry (steel).

>The Gary Works is a major steel mill in Gary, Indiana, on the shore of Lake Michigan. For many years, the Gary Works was the world's largest steel mill, and it remains the largest integrated mill in North America.

>The Gary Works remains Gary's largest single employer and a key element of the city's tax base. However, employment levels have fallen substantially since the mid-20th century; the plant and allied facilities employed over 30,000 people in the early 1970s, but only 6,000 in 1990, and 5,000 in 2015.


sparky_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Austria's generous social welfare system and wide availability of other blue-collar-yet-comfortable-pay work should mean that the average joe won't be screwed over too much by this.

Unlike in the US, where laid off folks really have no recourse.

mpalmes 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would imagine there will still be a sizable number of jobs outside of Voestalpine group from contractors/companies maintaining machinery and transport companies.Will be interesting the long term impacts as well on the local communities in a country like Austria.
nickbauman 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a theory that any market that is subject to higher and higher productivity gains will eventually become highly volatile followed by its collapse.
cornflake 1 day ago 0 replies      
The economics behind this disruptive innovation in the steel industry were broken down really well by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in his writings and this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5FxFfymI4g
edpichler 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here is an interesting video about automation "No one should have to do work that can be done by a machine, by Roberto Mangabeira Unger" on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5OyrsHmjW0

PS: He is Brazilian, and gave lessons about the field of philosophy to Obama on university.

TotallyGod 19 hours ago 0 replies      
But how many people were required to build the automation and also to keep it running? If they're anything like automated check-out stations in grocery stores, they employee more people than the low-tech solution did previously.
chrismealy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Where was all the equipment in the new factory made?
anovikov 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is clearly a mistake in hours per ton of steel calculation. It just can't be true. It is probably per thousand tons, then 250 hours to make 1000 tons of steel sound reasonable - wholesale market of steel is ca. $300 a ton so that would be about $1000/hour worked, about average for a highly automated industry.
fergie 1 day ago 0 replies      
On a related note, its really surprising how industrialised Austria is- their Alpine valleys are full of heavy engineering.
grashalm01 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've played enough factorio to know that you only need one person. Also handling the rail system at the same time.
amarant 1 day ago 1 reply      
clickbaity as the headline may be, it is yet another indicator that the only way to secure future employmentrates is to invest in education. "unskilled" workers as the article calls them, wont be needed anywhere in the not at all distant future.
dustinmoris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blue collar is dead, white collar is the new blue collar and AI is the new white collar.
holri 1 day ago 0 replies      
No wonder. Working hours are heavily taxed while energy / resource consumption is not.
rurban 1 day ago 0 replies      
Incidently I worked on planning the next generation fully automated VOEST-Alpine plant in Kapfenberg several years ago, when I worked as architect. Sorry, but I don't have the pictures. They still haven't decided on it.

This is just a new rolling mill to produce HQ wire, all the blue collar workers are in the iron blasts next door. You can easily get summer jobs there, which is better than going to Switzerland working in a nuclear power plant.Some pictures: https://www.google.de/search?q=voest+alpine+donawitz

For the introduction of this new automated mill they didn't cut any jobs: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&pr...

"Digitization will continue to have no negative impact" said Eder. The transformation process would "take certainly 15 years - without job cuts," as the CEO said.

The automation process and foreign producers (Mittal) with its cheap labor had a huge positive impact on us architects then. We were able to cut costs on huge steel buildings, e.g. the RESOWI University in Graz, which I also worked on, the largest building in the country. It was planned for 1.2bill and was finished under 800m, just because the steel price exactly from this company VOEST Alpine went down dramatically. Before everything was build with concrete, brick or wood, then suddenly steel had an unexpected rise in popularity.

B1FF_PSUVM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Chairman Mao would be proud.

(clicky: https://www.google.com/search?q=Chairman+Mao+steel )

A Cyberattack 'the World Isnt Ready For' nytimes.com
340 points by darod  15 hours ago   191 comments top 24
throwaway91111 14 hours ago 0 replies      
matt_wulfeck 8 hours ago 5 replies      
> Finally, before they left, they encrypted her computer with ransomware, demanding $130 to unlock it, to cover up the more invasive attack on her computer.

Anyone having hard time swallowing this? They broke in and were totally undetected when they planted a... rootkit (unclear from article). While undetected they silently stole user credentials... Then to cover it all up, they ransomware'd the computer?

It's like breaking into a house and putting a bug in the wall, and then to cover the tracks you smash in the front door and leave the water running in the sink.

If the attacker was completely undetected, why intentionally jeopardize that?

zyxzevn 12 hours ago 6 replies      
So we are investing dollars in NSA so they make tools that bring us damage? I think there should be a limit on how long they can keep their "secrets". Snowden already showed that information can go outside, so any information will be leaked at some time. The society has much more to win when the software defects are repaired instead of used for hacking.

I think that all these NSA problems show bad management. They should be reorganized, or maybe even abandoned. They cost more than they deliver, and even costed us our privacy. Probably they are still breaking US and international laws on that. Breaking up NSA can allow the FBI and (open) security companies to take over the cybersecurity.

I suspect that we will soon have leaks of CIA tools too. But thanks to wikileaks companies can prepare for these future problems.

We can go deeper into who got these tools and who is using them. Some may even argue that the CIA leaked the NSA tools to weaken the NSA. Or worse, that some in the NSA want to create cyber chaos to push for more control over the internet in the future.

The article mentions the popular political scapegoats, and as usual this is just speculation. To solve NSA's problem we have to request very concrete evidence, otherwise we are just being played with.

Article: > The Shadow Brokers resurfaced last month, promising a fresh load of N.S.A. attack tools, even offering to supply them for monthly paying subscribers like a wine-of-the-month club for cyberweapon enthusiasts.

This shows how we are being played with. The NSA could already have published the security details of all leaked tools, so we could all have protected our computer systems. We could have prevented Wannacry.

nulagrithom 14 hours ago 13 replies      
I feel silly saying this, but I sometimes imagine a scenario in which the attackers are not motivated by money but instead are aiming to simply cause as much destruction as possible, like some kind of "cyberterrorism".

Imagine if the creators of WannaCry had decided to brick everything they could, instead of _just_ holding data for ransom. What then?

Ben-Oni (from the article) says he sees it as "life-and-death". I agree. We're simply not prepared for a well-coordinated attack. I think it will take a true catastrophe before anyone really understands just how vulnerable the Internet is.

_ao789 7 hours ago 0 replies      
tldr; someone got hold of NSA a pen-tool and is slowly getting it setup for a big global attack of sorts. And a whole long life story of some other dude..
pavement 13 hours ago 1 reply      
There's something about Windows exploits that just feels like a canned hunt by now.

With stuxnet, there developed the sense that Windows received conspicuous attention from a special class of mysterious operators.

At this point, given the tiny cottage industry that feeds a handful of starving security analysts, I feel it's reasonable to presume that Windows is built to be a secure as possible, and that what's possible is mostly intentional and understood as a known quantity for special populations.

RachelF 13 hours ago 1 reply      
After nuclear weapons were first invented, the big powers spent a lot of effort in non-proliferation, to stop smaller countries building them.

Cyber weapons are not as dangerous as nukes, but much easier to copy, and much harder to know who attacked you.

The NSA/CIA has been very lax in allowing their weapons to be copied.

harshaw 14 hours ago 6 replies      
So, in summary. The NSA hordes zero day (not sure if just windows), builds some scary tools to exploit these, and of course doesn't let MS know about them, because zero days are incredibly valuable to the spooks. And because perfect security is impossible these tools get out. Perhaps this was obvious from the WannaCry episode, but this article really hammered it home for me.

Why people run any systems on windows is beyond me (not that others are more secure, but windows is a bigger target)

WalterBright 13 hours ago 3 replies      
The attack surface could be greatly reduced by putting a lot of code in ROMs (Read Only Memory) where it won't survive a reboot.
willstrafach 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is certainly a serious issue, but a few aspects of this article are very strange.

> Worse, the assault, which has never been reported before, was not spotted by some of the nations leading cybersecurity products, the top security engineers at its biggest tech companies, government intelligence analysts or the F.B.I., which remains consumed with the WannaCry attack.

> The world is burning about WannaCry, but this is a nuclear bomb compared to WannaCry, Mr. Ben-Oni said. This is different. Its a lot worse. It steals credentials. You cant catch it, and its happening right under our noses.

This attack and WannaCry use the same exploitation vector (EternalBlue). It seems that his company was targeted with a custom payload, which is definitely unfortunate, but that is not related to the exploit itself, it is just another form of custom code being used to perform further actions (Instead of simply encrypting files as WannaCry was doing). This is probably even easier for an attacker since there is now even a Metasploit module for MS17-010.

> The attack on IDT went a step further with another stolen N.S.A. cyberweapon, called DoublePulsar. The N.S.A. used DoublePulsar to penetrate computer systems without tripping security alarms. It allowed N.S.A. spies to inject their tools into the nerve center of a targets computer system, called the kernel, which manages communications between a computers hardware and its software.

This is not a "step further" though. DoublePulsar is the implant injected EternalBlue and was certainly used in WannaCry. I am not sure why they had not even taken the time to try to verify this, even the WannaCry Wikipedia page states this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WannaCry_ransomware_attack). Again, this is the same exploitation vector and same implant, but with a modified payload to specifically target IDT it seems.

> For his part, Mr. Ben-Oni said he had rolled out Microsofts patches as soon as they became available, but attackers still managed to get in through the IDT contractors home modem.

This tells me:1. Even though machines internally were patched, a contractor was allowed to connect to the network with an unpatched machine.2. If machines were internally patched, how would an infected contractor be able to do damage? I am not clear on this. They might be saying the network itself was not attacked, but rather the attacker was able to login with the legitimate employee's credentials and cause damage that way (In which case, something is very wrong internally if this was possible).

I know it is not nice to victim-shame regarding security issues, and I am trying not to do so, but it seems like the story here is phrased in a slightly disingenuous manner. It is essentially this: An IDT contractor with an unpatched machine and privileged network access was targeted using EternalBlue to steal their credentials with a custom payload. It worked. After this, it is unclear if the stated network intrusion occurred because EternalBlue spread (Would not make sense if patched) or the contractor credentials were used "legitimately" (Indicates poor access control and monitoring).

rjblackman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I am quite surprised no one has used an exploit for rompager yet and used to it take down most of the internet.
cube00 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I dont pursue every attacker, just the ones that piss me off,

Why paint a target on your back saying things like this?

qb45 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> he would not stop until the attacks had been shut down and those responsible were behind bars.

That's cute. I wonder if he means Microsoft, people who use Microsoft products in safety-critical systems or maybe some nuke-capable nation state hiding behind tor, VPN, custom IoT botnet, another layer of tor and another VPN?

rqmedes 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Critical infrastructure, Economic stability, nation states preparing/probing for war/advantage?
BatFastard 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Give the NSA a break, they handle more secrets than I can imagine. And at least they managed to hold onto the Russian Golden Shower video!

Suggesting that the USA get rid of the NSA is like saying "Crap, terrorists got a hold of a nuclear weapon, lets unilaterally get rid of all of our weapons and hope for the best!"

exabrial 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Aka 'Live free or Die Hard'. Saw it. Bruce Willis runs out of bullets and shoots a helicopter down with a car
microcolonel 12 hours ago 0 replies      
> In the pecking order of a computer system, the kernel is at the very top, allowing anyone with secret access to it to take full control of a machine. It is also a dangerous blind spot for most security software, allowing attackers to do what they want and go unnoticed.

Why do journalists even try to explain things like this? Do they ever get it right? Does it ever not just go over people's heads?

King-Aaron 8 hours ago 1 reply      
So does everyone here just subscribe to the NYTimes, or am I missing something when it comes to all these paywalled articles (other than, you know, missing the article itself?)
bradknowles 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Got a non-paywall link?
droopybuns 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Most companies hiring and empowering decent security people would have avoided this bullshit, due to all the twitter signaling.

Noobs: follow @hackerfantastic

natch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Now that they lost control of their napalm bombs which are now burning innocent targets, where is the NSA?

A little bit of taking responsibility please? They could at least lead the charge to get this stuff dealt with now.

6stringmerc 12 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the real math, a full-scope attack might do what, cripple 30% of the Modernized World at any given time? Maybe for a week? Shit, y'all need to catch up on nature a little bit. Sometimes a forest fire burning things to the ground inspires new, stronger life and recovery. Also, if you think I'm being a dick, I'm paraphrasing Tim Berners Lee about his views on the modern Internet.
Trump administration has plan to scrap startup visa rule sfchronicle.com
287 points by sloreti  1 day ago   309 comments top 26
marcell 1 day ago 10 replies      
From the article:

"To qualify for the rule, entrepreneurs would have to meet high standards. A foreigner must demonstrate that he or she will contribute to economic growth or job creation and show that a reputable investor has put at least $250,000 into the company. Under this rule, they can stay in the U.S. for 30 months, with the possibility of a 30-month extension. They cannot apply for a green card during this period."

This sounds like a pretty lame visa. How are you supposed to build a startup if you only have 30 months to do so? Why would investors risk $250k if the founder may be deported in 30 months? What happens after the extension period?

I'm 100% in favor of increasing all immigration to the USA, but this visa doesn't sound like a good option at all. Is the USA really so appealing that talented entrepreneurs will jump through this many hoops to start their company here?

bwang29 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was invited last year in a round table discussion on this new rule. The original responses for the rule were mixed as there are plenty of nuances. Specifically, the main concern is the rule would lead to investors demanding founders to first acquire this type of status before they were able to get funded, causing a Chicken and Egg problem.

The original proposal of the rule required 375k of funding from US only accredited investors, and there are also requirements for the startup founders to maintain a certain threshold of ownership while being able to hire a lot of American employees in short period of time. I don't remember the specific number requirement/head counts but it was definitely enough to pressurize the company to expand in size quickly, while many tech startups do not necessarily need to hire dozens of employees in a 1-3 year period, not to mention they all had to be US citizens. 1-3 years would also be a stretch for most startup to figure out a concrete plan of growth in order to quality for an extension. And what if the founders want to bootstrap themselves?

Ultimately this rule still doesn't show any concrete pathway of residency or visa guarantees after 6 years. And because it is not a visa, it will take time to educate immigration officers and TSAs as well as creating a reasonable structure to allow founders to travel outside US legally as well. Historically there is a huge delay of understanding OPT, STEM and O1 visas in plenty of US embassies.

To make things even more complicated, it is not USCIS's interest to be a judge to tell which company would qualify for this rule, and they would need to form a group of trusted committees to check case by case if a company and their founders/co-founders qualify for this rule. I also heard that founder's spouses would be able to travel to US too.

pavlov 1 day ago 4 replies      
I asked this very question on HN in November 2016: will the "startup visa" survive? Commenters thought that Trump wouldn't interfere with it:


This is a solid reminder that the Trump administration is showing itself to be mostly concerned with undoing anything that Obama did, rather than working for anyone's benefit. You can't apply logic to predict the actions of these people.

paulsutter 1 day ago 4 replies      
Vancouver, anyone?

I live in Seattle and I'm about ready to drive two hours north for my next startup. To hire the Russian programmers I'm already working with, or the folks on Kaggle I'd love to hire. The US has a completely broken scheme for visas.

Indolat 1 day ago 3 replies      
Unfortunately, the immigration policies of most countries in the world are one huge stupid joke. Why so much obsession about the country where people were born into? It wasn't their choice at all. It just doesn't matter.

The only questions you should be asking are "are they decent people? Are they willing to integrate? Will they contribute to our economy? Will they make us problems?"And none of these questions you can answer by reading the name of the country on their passport.

notadoc 1 day ago 4 replies      
Are they going to scrap the EB-5 visa too? Doesn't it basically sell citizenship for real estate?
nopinsight 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a wild speculation, but is it possible that the Trump administration believes startups to be bad for the Rust Belt working class and other similar demographic they say they represent? For example, greater efficiency and automation could reduce employment of semi skilled people.

In the long run, this line of policies would of course lead to technological slow down and give a big opening for other countries to take the lead in a crucial determiner of economic successes.

Other possible theses may be that they favor the 'native whites' to have control as Steve Bannon used to mention or try to undo the legacies of Obama.

johnnydoebk 1 day ago 2 replies      
Sorry for a stupid question but I have to ask. Why everyone is so desperate to start a company and locate it physically in the US?Is it just because of VC money? Wouldn't any safe place with good laws and easy immigration policy do? I don't take seriously Blockchain projects (and consider most of them blatant scam) and they are relatively small now. But longterm can this model solve the part about VC money?
kefka 1 day ago 2 replies      
Then lets be blatant and straightforward then.

"If you're rich and willing to spend, we want you. If you're average or poor, fuck you."

nopinsight 1 day ago 0 replies      
A practical question:

How easy or challenging is it to stay in Toronto or Vancouver and run a US-registered startup there, if you need to collaborate with others in either SF Bay area or Boston/NYC? (In-person meetings might not need to be frequent; geting together once a month could be sufficient.)

I am an entrepreneur from Asia working to build a fundamental technology and was planning to set up a company and live in the Bay area. After studying diligently about various options, Canada could in fact be a better place to settle in with a proper startup visa and much fewer hoops to jump through, however the attraction of US tech ecosystem is powerful.

(Note: I earned a Masters degree with a thesis on AI/ML from a major US research university and have traveled to, attended conferences, and lived in the Bay area for several months per year over the last three years.)

The major reasons for SF Bay area dominance include:

1) access to top people, many if not most were/are foreign students, who attend UC Berkeley and Stanford,

2) ecosystems of global tech talents recruited by major tech powerhouses like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.,

3) deep expertise and risk-taking attitude of Bay area VCs and angel investors, and

4) ease of access to vast US consumer and enterprise markets.

For 3) would major VCs or angel investors invest in a startup with offices about 1.5 to 2.5 hours away by plane? (The founders would need to travel to see them sometimes; but do they require in-person supervision/updates more than say once a month?)

For 4) I assume if the company is US-registered, it shouldn't have a problem in principle, is that true?

zabana 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised no other country has decided to go ahead and create an equally as open and safe environment for entrepreneurs to start companies. My understanding (which, I'll admit, is only based on my own observations) is that the vast majority of people outside the western sphere still regard the US through what's projected in hollywood movies and aren't really in touch with the reality of what life is in modern america (I'm a EU citizen myself but have quite a few US based/American friends).

Essentially, the way I see it is : The US still has an edge in technology and are able to attract top talent from overseas because they still benefit from cultural hegemony and their image worldwide. What happens when the dream evaporates is still a mystery to me. For example, how will the situation evolve once chinese / russian / indian universities catch up with institutions like stanford / MIT etc and enough investors from these countries decide to pour money into local startups ?

justinzollars 1 day ago 2 replies      
We should put boats off the coast of San Francisco like we talked about a few years ago.
leggomylibro 1 day ago 3 replies      
'Startup visa' is one term for it, 'buy-a-visa' is another.

I'm not sure that it's necessarily a bad idea; someone with vision and money may be able to contribute a lot to the economy. But handing them a visa for cash and a couple of years of supplying jobs feels very transactional. It says, "you can come here as long as you earn lots of money," not, "you can come here as long as you contribute lots to the economy."

zeusdx 1 day ago 1 reply      
If US doesn't want startup entrepreneurs there are plenty of other countries that have specialized visas to promote entrepreneurs and talent.

For example, UK has "Tier 1 - Entrepreneur Visa" where you can remain and run a company for 5 years. After 5 years, you can apply for extension for another 5 years or apply for settlement.

There is also UK "Tier 1 - Exceptional Talent" visa where you can apply to remain and work in UK without requiring any sponsorship from companies unlike H1B visa in US which requires company sponsorship.

maze-le 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think this might actually be a chance for the european tech industry. More people will stay here (in europe) + come here to pursue a career in the tech industry. What is needed additionally is a network of investors and vc-people to realize great ideas.
Alfredo123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good idea. A lot of corrupt Indian politicians have been sending their progeny to USA with this visa. It has nothing to do with startups but it is putting up visa for sale.

There is nothing wrong in putting visa for sale, but please do not insult many of us who are giving prime of our careers to startups while jumping through complex maze of US visa system.

Software_Sucks 1 day ago 1 reply      
God forbid that Americans want to hire and grow American talent, right guys? I mean that's just awful.
mrwnmonm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shit, I am locking myself in my room to study to get a job in silicon valley, what now?
jackaroe78 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not Boise? We have population of refugees here looking for an opportunity.
zebraflask 1 day ago 0 replies      
Huh, that might be one of the few things I agree with Trump about.
sausman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who is supposed to benefit from this? I'm confused.
mdekkers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome! They are welcome in the EU, and where the talent is, the investors will follow.
nopinsight 1 day ago 0 replies      
A major reason for US prosperity and world-class science and technologies is the immigration of best minds from all over the world.

Within 12-20 years, China's real GDP will overtake the US, assuming that China's GDP grows at an annual rate 2.5+% faster than the US for the period. This is quite plausible given that the current per capita income of China is only 1/7 of the US and its major focus on R&D. Even now, many of the best Chinese graduates from US universities are returning to China to pursue better opportunities there.

China is spending $409 billion (PPP) on R&D, the second highest in the world after the US and ahead of the EU. This amounts to 2.1% of GDP and very high for their stage of economic development [1]. Their goal, from a variety of sources, is to overtake the US as world's no. 1 and reclaim their historical place.

If you look at PISA, China and the rest of East Asia, together with Singapore, consistently perform at or near the top in math and science, and quite well at reading. Even the best performing US state, Massachusetts, is significantly below those in Math and Science [2].

Relatedly, China is catching up to the US in AI. [3] Most groundbreaking research is still conducted in the Western hemisphere, but East Asia is getting there despite much later starts. Also, many top researchers in Western labs are from East Asia, who may later decide to move back once the circumstances change.

Given the above factors, and only one-fourth the population (330 vs 1390 million), if/when the US cannot take advantage of best minds from these and other countries, would it be able to maintain the technological lead for long?

If the answer is no, how about the military and diplomatic dominance, which almost always follows economic and technological leads?

A possibility: If a larger portion of the GOP wakes up to the above, possibly within the next 10 years, they will start to actively recruit high-skilled immigrants, perhaps with some sort of point-based system as in Canada and Australia. Whether it would be too late or not remains to be seen.

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

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

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/27/technology/china-us-ai-ar...

suryacom 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here is the detailed comment by "Immigration Voice" on why the rule is bad for everyone except special interest:

"...The new immigrant entrepreneur parole program will create a yet another class of immigrants, albeit minority partners and working resources in the start-up entity, who will be beholden and entirely dependent on the hand-picked venture capital firms to maintain their status in United States in the parole period and beyond as immigrant entrepreneur will have no clear pathway to permanent residency. The proposed rule does not present a clear and fair system in which immigrants will have the same rights as U.S. workers or U.S. entrepreneurs in the marketplace. Therefore, the immigrant entrepreneur will have no leverage to negotiate the terms of the contract and relationship with and they will be susceptible to exploitation in a novel way as proposed in this regulation. Even if a path to U.S. permanent residency is proposed, it will in all likelihood, be at the expense of the current backlog of employment based immigrants in the permanent residency process.

In essence, the new immigrant would pay (in the form of hefty investment in the firm) for his or her travels to the United States only to remain in bondage relationship to the hand-picked VC firm. If this is not a definition of indentured servitude, then what is? Worse yet, the paroled immigrant has no defined wage requirement as a worker in the firm and has very lenient income threshold (400 percent of Federal Poverty Level for family size - irrespective of the prevailing wages of the entrepreneurs job functions) as outlined in the proposed rule. It is well known that such system only increases the demand for new immigrants because of their lower leverage and bargaining power in such relationships, while the American workers and entrepreneurs are discriminated against in the talent ecosystem.

In justifying the rule, DHS presents significant public benefit such as entrepreneurship and job creation by immigrant founders. This reference to various studies is grossly misleading in that DHS uses contributions of immigrant founders without crediting the fact that most of these immigrant founders had gained sufficient certainty in their immigration process by obtaining a Green Card prior to making a significant investment in the companies they founded.

The H-1B and L-1B programs were also created under the pretext of job creation and innovation in the United States and 25 years after the inception of these programs, the American high-skilled workforce consists of an estimated 1.5 million high-skilled law-abiding immigrants who are captive to their employers and cannot start their businesses and create jobs. This is clearly detrimental to the prospects of our fellow American workers who compete against the captive workforce of skilled immigrants who are favored by bad employers for their lack of job mobility.

For the purpose of bringing in more immigrants from outside, DHS uses the disguise of significant public benefit only to pile up fresh immigrants in the Green Card backlogs in which the new immigrants have fewer rights (as will clearly be the case with the proposed class of Entrepreneur parolees). It is ironic that DHS did not use the same significant public benefit arguments for providing rights such as job mobility and ability to start their own companies by high skilled immigrants, who already have approved immigrant petitions (I-140), understand the business environment in US, have great ideas (and hold patents in many cases) and have investments to start their businesses. But somehow DHS and Administration is very selective in applying the same significant public benefit argument for NOT letting people with approved immigrant petitions to start their companies. This clearly raises doubts as to whether any economic argument by the DHS in the rule making process is trustworthy. The proposed regulation ensures that there will be absolutely zero significant public benefit. Instead, the proposed regulation is only designed for significant benefit of hand-picked Venture Capitalists...."

Complete comment: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwdh5aYDQTwIbGVkR2Z6LV9FVTA...

soldierofhayley 1 day ago 7 replies      
Earning a lot of money is a pretty damn good proxy for contributing to society. At the very least these people pay some taxes instead of being a drain on society.
al452 1 day ago 0 replies      
You lost me at "Trump administration has plan".
Supreme Court Says People Cant Be Banned From The Internet techdirt.com
235 points by ForFreedom  2 days ago   107 comments top 9
yaakov34 2 days ago 2 replies      
People are commenting here without reading or understanding the ruling [edit: I should say that headlines like the one techdirt gave their article are also misleading; they are playing up the "banned from the internet" angle]. What happened is that North Carolina passed a law making it a crime for someone previously convicted of a sex crime to access social media sites (unless the site completely prohibits access except by adults, which most sites do not do). The court ruled that this law is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.

The court did not rule that "no one may be banned from the internet" an so on. A specific person can still have conditions attached by the courts to his release; for example, it's common for judges to impose conditions like "no use of computers" on convicted malicious hackers as part of their probation. This hasn't been made illegal. Restricting internet access of current prisoners certainly hasn't been held illegal. What's been held unconstitutional is criminalizing a priori certain modes of speech by a broad class of people.

EDIT2: Since this is apparently attracting a little bit of controversy, I want to add that I did not express any opinion about whether it's good to ban people from using computers or whatever; I just wanted to describe what the ruling says. I am actually not a fan of the general concept of not restoring people's rights after they serve their punishment, although I think it's justified in specific cases.

ransom1538 2 days ago 6 replies      
After a prisoner has served their said time [for felons]:

1) remove their right to vote [in florida 1/4 african americans can't vote] [i]

2) force them to divulge they are felons to all new employers

3) force them to tell their neighbors they are criminals [sex crime cases which often only involve one witness testimony]

4) garnish their wages

5) seize their property [drug cases]

6) place them on parole to increase mental fear [at any moment they can return to prison without trial]

7) force them to provide random urine tests and body searches [creates anxiety for people with addiction]

8) force them into community service mixed with other felons

This is a system designed to create crime.

[i] https://theintercept.com/2016/12/22/a-quarter-of-floridas-bl...

dis-sys 2 days ago 10 replies      
This is now interesting. Apparently prisoners in the US and many other countries are not allowed to have Internet access. In the US there is a system in place that allows inmates to communicate text only emails. I don't think you can call that plain text messaging "the Internet" in 2017.

With this supreme court ruling, how prisons in the US are going to allow inmates to have access to the real Internet? I mean you can not ban those inmates from accessing the Internet, right?

elkos 2 days ago 2 replies      
If I recall correctly Kevin Mitnick was banned from using a phone or a computer quite a while back. Right?
brandonmenc 2 days ago 1 reply      
re: sex offender lists and sentencing

The implication is that the people on the list are still a threat. If that's true, shouldn't they still be in prison?

bitwize 2 days ago 2 replies      
What's gonna end up happening is law enforcement is going to strike deals with the major sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are the internet now, to ban anyone on the sex offender rolls -- and nothing much of value will be lost. These companies are not ready for the shitstorm of outrage that will ensue when it is discovered that they are allowing predators to communicate with children.
ericfrederich 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are prisoners people? Should inmates have access to the internet?
jorgeleo 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is interesting... then what happens to the concept of 3 strikes and out?
cronjobber 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does this apply to seizing domains?
Waymo filing says Travis Kalanick knew engineer had Google info techcrunch.com
223 points by janober  1 day ago   133 comments top 21
djb_hackernews 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Why does the media keep calling Levandowski a plain old engineer? If Levandowski qualifies as a nameless engineer the title should read "Waymo filing says engineer knew engineer had Google info." Levandowski is a well known tech entrepreneur and was before this case, he wasn't just some worker bee Uber hired to sling code that stole IP from Google before leaving.

It sort of feels like the VW emissions scandal being blamed on "engineers". No, in both cases they were well compensated, well connected, seasoned tech executives and knew what they were doing and thought they could get away with it because of their position (and likely also from experience.)

csours 1 day ago 1 reply      
So to take a kind of backwards view here, are there any consequences for Waymo if they are incorrect in this filing? Or is this the part of legal wrangling where you throw mud and see what sticks?

To be sure, there's a great deal of smoke around Levandowski and the Otto acquisition, and probably some fire as well.

kcorbitt 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is perhaps the most important claim made by Waymo since the initial filing. Waymo had already built up a preponderance of evidence that Levandowski knowingly and intentionally stole their information. There's no way he's dancing out of that at this point. But up until now, they haven't provided any evidence or, I believe, made the claim that Uber knew what was up, which puts them in the awkward position of suing someone (Uber) who may have had nothing to do with Levandowski's crime. There was lots of innuendo (Travis Kalanick took many long walks at night with Levandowski, with the discussions totally undocumented) but no smoking gun. However, if they can demonstrate to a jury that Uber execs definitely knew what Levandowski did and ignored it, that's the sort of thing that changes this lawsuit from an expensive distraction into an existential threat to Uber's self-driving car business.
zitterbewegung 1 day ago 6 replies      
How long does Uber have left? Another post about Uber from yesterday said they had around a year left of runway.

As an aside:Every day for at least the past month an Uber story talking about their failings has dominated Hacker News. I strongly believe that Uber's problems are extremely importantant, and deserve to be on the front page. But, its really tiring to talk about a company that is stumbling every single day when we could have posts about other things.

seibelj 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hollywood, please wait until this plays out before writing the script and signing on a big name actor to play Travis[0]

[0] http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/06/jennifer-lawrenc...

maheshp 21 hours ago 3 replies      
There's a very good read in HBR today on the fact that Uber's business model is predicated on illegality. Thought provoking read. https://hbr.org/2017/06/uber-cant-be-fixed-its-time-for-regu...
aresant 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Headline choice is editorializing - the actual quote "Mr.Kalanick conveyed to Mr. Levandowski in response that Mr. Levandowski shouldnot bring any Google information into Uber and that Uber did not want anyGoogle information. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Levandowski communicated to Uberthat he had destroyed the discs"
nafizh 20 hours ago 1 reply      
All this Uber talk is making me dizzy. Yeah, sure, Uber is a shitty company but there are tons of them. This disproportional attention to Uber is blindsiding everyone to a lot of them.

Maybe, someone should also check out Lyft for their employee treatment, company culture, and business practices. Because, apparently, they are the good guys and a lot of people are switching to them.

cityzen 1 day ago 4 replies      
There is a podcast called The Dollop where one person essentially teaches another person about a particular subject. They recently did Uber and it was eye-opening to see just how shady this company has always been. I am not a fan of Uber but after listening to this I will never use them again.

Podcast link:http://thedollop.libsyn.com/271-uber

Fricken 1 day ago 0 replies      
Other articles on this subject note that upon hearing Levandowski possessed the stolen files, Kalanick advised him to destroy the stolen data and not bring it to Uber.
ishansharma 1 day ago 2 replies      
Now just putting conspiracy theory hat for a moment, but can it be the real reason behind Travis walking out? Board got to know that this would come out and got rid of him to do some damage control?
victor22 23 hours ago 0 replies      
From over 10 years of using and kinda understanding the taxi industry, a different leader than Travis could not have entered that market. I'm not saying he's correct, but it takes a bully to scare a bully.
digitalzombie 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm glad this is happening to Uber.

I do not want such a company to thrive with these type of practices.

I thought they were going to win against Lyft with all these shady practices. And so I just shrug it off and chalk it up for those dirty companies stepping on people.

Glad that the public have been more empathic and a conscious on these disgusting practices. Gives me hope for the future in term of businesses and higher standards.

cityzen 1 day ago 0 replies      
shocker... douchebag CEO with "win at all costs" attitude is trying to win at all costs.
toddball 22 hours ago 0 replies      
> "Mr.Kalanick conveyed to Mr. Levandowski in response that Mr. Levandowski should not bring any Google information into Uber and that Uber did not want any Google information. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Levandowski communicated to Uber that he had destroyed the discs"

Emphasis mine. Does anyone else find this to be particularly odd wording for 2016/7? When was the last time anyone here that is tech savvy use multiple disks for storage of anything? Desktop and laptop hard drives can now hold multiple terabytes of data and thumb drives now hold in excess of one terabyte. Plus, most people now use drives not discs. Most laptops don't even contain disk drives and haven't for years.

I'm probably alone here, but this detail alone makes this heresay seem suspicious to me. Did anyone else find the mention of multiple discs in 2016/7 odd as well?

edw 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the timing of Alphabet's spinning-out of Waymo was driven or influenced by a desire to, as much as possible, distance Alphabet and, more importantly, the Google brand from what they knew would become an ugly legal battle.
dontblink 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Does Travis leaving now prevent him from returning at a later time as CEO under opportune circumstances? PR could spin a return if Uber starts failing and hail Travis as having learned how to lead.

In other words, does anyone think this could be temporary?

throwaway29292 1 day ago 3 replies      
I count 4 Uber stories on the front page today. There have been a few every week since the past few months. Will this sordid saga ever end? I feel this is like watching a newsreel about the same topics every few days.
samstave 1 day ago 2 replies      
in all of this drama, as others have mentioned that the board may have been calculating the release of travis and perhaps others, all I can think of is just how complicit and shady everyone else on the board is.

I can doubt they didnt know anything about uber's DNA and how much of a douche-factory they were running just to make a shit ton of money themselves.

While I think that uber (ride sharing in general) has greatly benefited myself and millions of others, I cannot think that the board is wholly altruistic at uber, and I think the whole top pulled shady crap to get where they are.

on the one hand, you want rogue companies to push the boundaries when nimby and laws which are obsolete are blocking evolution of how we live, but you also want fairness in how they accomplish this.

its like a Louis CK skit, "of course, but maybe";

Of course, Uber and ride-sharing is a great idea and millions of people benefit from it existing and it showed how taxi medallion services in places like NYC were an outdated and corrupt model lining the pockets of a few at the expense of the many and now a black man can reliably get a ride uptown in minutes by the magic cab hailer in his pocket....

but maybe.... you didnt have to be a sexist, corrupt slimy douchebag to accomplish this such that your company isnt bleeding talent and the poster child for sexism in tech and actually managing to one-up zenifits HR debacle with your own literally worst HR department in history of tech stories... maybe...

antisthenes 22 hours ago 5 replies      
The cherry on top is the history of eugenics in the US, with forced sterilizations extending into the 1970's (!)


It's a chilling read, not for the faint of heart.

pfarnsworth 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why does this article not mention that when Kalanick found out that Levandowski had this material, he immediately told him that Uber didn't want it, and told him to destroy those discs? The Bloomberg article on this topic said this directly.


Julia Computing Raises $4.6M in Seed Funding juliacomputing.com
276 points by sandGorgon  2 days ago   129 comments top 20
flavio81 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wish them all the best. Julia seems to a good idea -- a high performance language with easy syntax (easy for Python users to jump to Julia), very good features for threading/multiprogramming, good type system...

...here it seem like any other modern language, until you see that Julia has something that many other languages lack: true macros (true metaprogramming.) A big feature. And multiple dispatch on all functions! (a very nice feature that puts it above many other languages in use.)

You can even program Julia in s-expressions if you feel like it. (Some argue that Julia should be considered a Lisp dialect.)

Compared to the other languages with Python-like, C-like or Algol-like syntax, Julia stands out from them as a more powerful alternative. (If you need more power and flexibility than Julia with good processing speed, i think only Common Lisp will clearly provide it.)

A very recommendable language, especially now with this initiative for giving more "enterprise-like" support, and worth looking in depth, if you are also considering moving to Go and Rust.

skybrian 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was a bit surprised by the idea of the FAA using Julia for an "Aircraft Collision Avoidance System", since it apparently doesn't have static type checking and deployment seems like a weak spot.

Digging a bit deeper, it appears they use it to deliver specifications and example code to vendors?

"[T]ransferring the specifications to industry using this legacy system required three different types of documentation: first, the specifications were written both in variable-based pseudocode and in English descriptive pseudocode. But this approach left gaps in interpretation, leading to possible confusion or disagreement. So programmers also created state charts to fill these gaps and eliminate the potential for misinterpretation."


indescions_2017 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know it's also gained a following at MIT's Broad Lab amongst genomics folks. And that seems to be Julia's sweet spot: easy parallelism for scientists who can't spare the time futzing with HPC internals. Congrats to the Julia language team and to the great scientific discoveries that will be enabled with this investment!


drej 2 days ago 3 replies      
Julia frustrates me. I was in a mathematical modelling sphere, so I learned the language basics years ago and immediately fell in love (multiple dispatch, optional types, broadcasting, ...). But I couldn't get approvals at work to push it, because it was immature. Then a month later, all my code broke. I rewrote it using new APIs. It broke again. I know they reserved the right to make breaking changes up until 1.0, but they are hindering adoption because of all this. Sorry, guys, but I'll have to stick to Python, Go and (sigh) Fortran.

That being said, I applaud getting good funding for a project that's actually more than beyond MVP, it has happy users/customers and it serves a purpose. That's not all that common these days. Good luck, guys.

faitswulff 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this would be a feasible funding strategy for Crystal (https://crystal-lang.org/) as well. From the scattered benchmarks I could find online, Crystal seems to be just as fast, if not a bit faster.

https://github.com/kostya/benchmarks, http://blog.seraum.com/crystal-lang-vs-nodejs-vs-golang-vs-j...

edshiro 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's an impressive amount of money to raise in Seed funding. Here in the UK this is more like Series A money: a Seed round would probably be around $700K (no authoritative source - purely from knowledge of a few companies raising this kind of money).

I do wonder though: have Julia been able to raise this much money thanks to awesome traction or the reputation of the team?

krupan 2 days ago 3 replies      
What is the business model? How are they making money?
smaili 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those thinking "What's Julia?", article has a nice tldr --

Julia is the fastest modern high performance open source computing language for data, analytics, algorithmic trading, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

pixelmonkey 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyway else think it's interesting that $4.6m could be labeled "seed funding"?

Seed round 2016 average is around $1m per Crunchbase:


Cooley has seed round pre-moneys at $4-6m. (Thus, a $5m check is pretty much out of question at that stage.)


So, this is much more like a Series A? I wonder if they were advised to call it seed funding to leave open the possibility of a "big" Series A, due to the level of interest. It does seem like SV VCs are making somewhat large bets on F/OSS-based companies, so maybe that is wise.

I also realize a lot of this is semantics.

cyber1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Julia seems very attractive with clear syntax and really fast! I wish you best!

I think Julia should be very nice in server-side development.

zitterbewegung 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a good idea for the language and a good startup idea. I know of two businesses that support python and since Data Science is a growing field we can always need competition in environments and languages.
gruglife 2 days ago 4 replies      
As someone that uses Python and R for data analysis, is it worth learning this language?
sriram_sun 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've heard good reviews of the language here. So I've no doubt about its technical capabilities. However, funding might suppress the ability to make breaking changes.. which I believe are pretty good until 1.0 or so. On the business side, will we end up with (hopefully) a better, cheaper Matlab?
nickpeterson 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure I buy the notion of, "Solves the two language problem." There is always going to be some library or environment consideration that makes a unified language for everything impractical (unless your entire business runs on an AS400).
dkarapetyan 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Speed of C++ and Java"? What does that even mean?
mr_overalls 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems a little premature when considering that Julia is only up to v0.6, and the language is still making breaking changes.


rllin 2 days ago 2 replies      
Any suggestions for learning Julia (detailed projects to follow) for fluent pythonistas?
tempodox 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, will Julia finally emit stand-alone binary executables, AOT-compiled?
howfun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wasn't that a language with 1 based indexes? Is yes, then forget about wide adoption.
drenvuk 2 days ago 3 replies      
So this is why every once in a while we see some article about Julia being as easy to use as Python while having nearly the performance of C. That's some very slick but sketchy marketing tactics.

I'd rather deal with Cython apache license than deal with this GPL stuff for commercial use.

Etsy slashes almost a quarter of its staff engadget.com
213 points by tiger3  1 day ago   108 comments top 19
20years 1 day ago 6 replies      
I tried using Etsy only to have them close my shop due to my products "not being handcrafted" according to them. These were small things that I 3D printed and people were actually buying. They shut me down but allowed similar endless China produced products to stay. They were not too happy when I pointed out those China knockoffs. They also kept my money hostage from the sales I made.

I will never again use or trust Etsy and I discourage every small seller I know that makes custom things to stay away.

strict9 1 day ago 4 replies      
Will echo others regarding China imports, but one last hope to bring me back to their marketplace is a revamp of the review system.

After spending thousands of dollars on furniture, waiting a month for the guy to make it, and another two weeks to ship, I had maybe a few days to leave a review for something I spent a lot of money on. With this policy, reviews are for first impressions only. And I won't be coming back.

Maybe it's in place to prevent review extortion, but a time limit (especially for goods made on demand) isn't the way to do it.

_Codemonkeyism 1 day ago 2 replies      
I know this will cost me mucho karma, but

what I hear: self promoting excellent technology, best practice ops blog posts, a/b testing, poster child for product management [1] and then after years of excellence a sudden product failure (reviews, China, ...), CEO kicked out for failing and slashing staff in several rounds.

To me this looks like focusing on the wrong things. I wonder that the CEO discussed with the CTO and VP Product over the years. We'll see if I have to replace Nokia with Etsy in my "Focus" conference talks.

[1] Etsy is a database webfrontend not SpaceX

Edit: John Allspaw, famous for blameless postmortems, Linkedin profile says his CTO gig at Etsy ended May 2017.

k3oni 1 day ago 3 replies      
Etsy should go back at what they did initially and support the craftsmen instead of the china imports, maybe that would help bring them back on track.
socrates1998 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have just heard a gradual declining of Etsy's quality and creator service of the last year or two.

Their reluctance to crack down on Chinese crap along with being very unhelpful to it's creators are the two biggest issues.

I mean, I get that a tech company would struggle with service to it's sellors, that's pretty normal, but if your brand is "handmade quality", then why the hell would you allow Chinese trash?

jroseattle 1 day ago 1 reply      
I remember when this article about the Etsy engineering department came out on Techcrunch 3 years ago.


The items that jumped out at me:

> The company owns and operates its hardware and networks in its own datacenter.

> The company has 685 employees of which approximately a third are engineers.

> It wanted to know how Hadoop worked, and the only way to do that was to bring it in-house and figure it out.

As a means to an end, this is a _really_ expensive way of operating nowadays. And when the business isn't rolling, these costs become magnified (and the associated operation vulnerable.)

Justin_K 1 day ago 0 replies      
I lost interest in Etsy when I saw a bunch of manufactured crap I could by anywhere else. There was a turning point where Etsy became more of this than original, personally crafted items.
dmode 1 day ago 1 reply      
Etsy is a company that needed to stay private
JustAnotherPat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like a sinking ship for anyone there involved in software especially since they like to blame their tech and poor search for a lot of their problems.
amazon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have only had positive experiences working with Etsy but a lot of other people I've met have had their businesses shut down and their funds locked on the site. Incredibly shady especially since most of their products were legitimate crafts they made. Hopefully they get their act together because there really is no replacement.
upbeatlinux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not initiate a share buy back, continue to trim the fat and go private? A return to their roots is necessary rather than trying to balance the share holder value of their B Corp status.
mi100hael 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder if that includes the bike-pedaling office composter.
jbob2000 1 day ago 1 reply      
Etsy is looking for a buyer.
learc83 1 day ago 5 replies      
I remember hearing that Etsy had an unusually large number of women working on the development team. I wonder how this layoff is going to affect that? Will they keep up their diversity initiatives, or do they consider that more of a luxury?

I also read that they were also hiring a lot of bootcamp grads. It would be interesting to see the percentage of layoffs coming from bootcamps.

johnbellone 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't see any numbers on what departments were the most affected, but to my friends at Etsy looking for roles in automation/infrastructure engineering please reach out!
rockmeamedee 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of negative nancies in this thread. I'm not here for kicking people while they're down.

But didn't they have a layoff a month ago? Isn't there a management saying that goes something like "If you're going to eat shit, eat enough so you only have to do it once", specifically about layoffs?

Etsy engineers (and other workers) reading this, I wish you good luck! May you survive and thrive through tough times.

ComputerGuru 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe twitter will watch and learn. They have some similar problems.
lkrubner 1 day ago 1 reply      
There was a stretch, I think 3 to 5 years ago, when it seemed that Etsy was on a hiring spree -- lots and lots of recruiters were reaching out to me and asking "Would you like to work for Etsy?" I was intrigued because I used to live in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from Etsy is. So if I worked there, I could have biked to work in about 10 minutes. That would have been cool.

But every time I asked about the tech, I was disappointed. They wanted me to come in and work on a bunch of PHP code. When I asked about the details, from the hiring manager, I was told that it was, basically, a big monolithic PHP thing. I've no idea if they later moved to microservices, but I have been traumatized by a few too many encounters with horrendous blobs of PHP. For me, its become a bit of a heuristic. If a company is apparently working with a big blob of PHP, I am wary. I need to hear very good things about that company, to offset that wariness.

More recently I've read criticisms of their search system. At the risk of indulging in "confirmation bias", I'll say this (bad search) is exactly what I would have predicted, based on what I'd heard 3 to 5 years ago.

madamelic 1 day ago 1 reply      
This seems like the 'bubble' deflating.

Not so much a bang, more of a fizzle as "the big kids" come in and cut deeply.

That and investors keeping out of seed-stage funding because it has gotten so bloated by everyone wanting their own startup.

I've seen Genius, Etsy, Uber... etc. It seems like a lot more startups are getting shook up and cut down.

Twice as happy customers means half the marketing spend candyjapan.com
235 points by bemmu  7 hours ago   81 comments top 18
icc97 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I love this post - it gets across a fundamental concept that pretty much anyone can understand, which is non-obvious.

What I love, that other's here seem to grumble about, is that he's not using any specific terminolgy. He doesn't mention 'churn', he doesn't mention 'geometric' series, he only has one '=' in the whole text.

You can print out this article (ignoring the python bit) take this down to your local baker/cafe/<insert non-tech business owner> that's full of stupid marketing billboards but sucks at customer service and show it to them. There's a good chance they'll understand.

Frankly I liked it because I could easily follow his logic without slowing my reading. There was parity between my understanding speed vs my reading speed.

Plus no-one here seems to be grumbling that he's wrong, just that they can say it in a different way.

patio11 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The falls out of the fundamental equation for SaaS and other subscription business models:

LTV = prospects * (conversion rate to paying) * (average price point) / churn

This makes a 5% increase in prospects, conversion rate, or price cause a 5% increase to LTV (and, eventually, to the enterprise value of the company). A 5% decrease in churn (measured against one's current churn rate, e.g., 5% -> 4.75%) has a slightly more than 5% impact to LTV / enterprise value.

So many decisions about running a SaaS company fall directly out of this equation. Competent SaaS operators memorize it or, for less mathematically oriented operators, can at least summarize the relationships implied.

jasonkester 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, that's the Churn Equation. The thing us SaaS folks spend most of our time worrying about (whether we know it or not).

Given a constant influx of potential customers at a known conversion rate, along with a known churn rate of existing customers, you can find an exact dollar figure that you will eventually plateau at.

It sucks. Especially when you're starting out because the "In" side of the equation is small and there's not much you can do about it.

Fortunately, as the article points out, there are a few knobs you can tweak. Churn is a nice one, since all it takes is a good product. Conversion is harder, because it involves dark magic like sales and psychology and web design skills.

Once you get it figured out, though, there's another formula you can use to determine how much you're allowed to spend to pour one new user into the top of your Trial funnel. If you can get that up to a level that justifies advertising, you can open the valve as far as your budget allows and start moving that plateau point upwards.

EDIT: I've been writing about this stuff lately, if anybody else likes geeking out on it:


mosselman 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I was a customer of Candy Japan for a while (3 months) and I really liked it. The candy selection was very interesting and fun. A while back I tried a competitor and their selection was very boring and the candy they sent didn't feel very special.

The reason I cancelled with Candy Japan was that I found it a lot of money for candy. Not so much a lot of money for the service. Also, candy is just unhealthy, so I am probably better of spending that amount on fruit and vegetables.

Overall the candy selection is what would make me choose Candy Japan over a competitor if I would ever choose a candy service again or recommend one to friends.

mherrmann 6 hours ago 6 replies      
I think this is highly relevant for the early stages of a product: Do you focus on retention or marketing? I'm developing a cross-platform file manager [1]. My current problem is that even tough 20 people download it every day, only 2 use it more than once in the first week. Existing users ask me for 1000s of features. But the real problem I need to overcome for growth is that I lose so many first-time users. That's a problem with onboarding, not with features. I blogged about this [2].

[1]: https://fman.io

[2]: https://fman.io/blog/desktop-app-funnel-optimization/

eterm 7 hours ago 4 replies      
This really overcomplicates the mathematics.

Steady state implies Leavers = Joiners.

If 100 people join each month then you'll have steady state when there are 100 leavers, i.e. when 50% of N is 100. N * 50% = 100 solves to N = 200.

In general with X% attrition and Y people joining you'll have a steady number of subscribers N using the formula

N * (1 - X) + Y = N

Which can be rearranged to N * X = Y.

wjnc 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A practical application of a geometric series [1].

Before my study of statistical distributions I once re-invented the Poisson distribution. It took one look of my physicist colleague to give everyone a good laugh. That was the moment I decided an economists needs more than linear models, the normal distribution and some non-parametric tests.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_series

laumars 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> For simplicity suppose 50% of people cancel every month. That means that if I do some clever marketing and manage to get 100 new people to join, then after a month 50 of those would be left. After another month, 25 of those would be left and so on.

> Because of this fall-off, even if you run a subscription business forever, you will not have infinite customers. Instead you reach a steady-state number.

You should also factor in returning business as well as new business. eg I'm a very happy customer but since this is a luxury it is often the first thing I cancel whenever money gets tighter. For example when moving house or, most recently, when my wife gives birth to our new baby girl. However when finances stabilize again Candy Japan is often one of the first luxuries I re-subscribe to again.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to say thank you for providing such a great service. The extra effort you put in with regards to the emailed descriptions of the candy as well as the mixture of normal and alternative snacks make it an absolute delight receiving the box.

no_gravity 2 hours ago 0 replies      

 Even if you run the business for a million years, you will still only have 200 members.
If the churn rate is steady. It usually goes down over time though. Because long time customers have a lower likelihood of canceling.

In other words: The past does not equal the future. If you look back on your business and see a churn rate of X%, you can expect a lower churn rate in the future. Because the "survivors" will have a lower churn rate then new customers.

In e-commerce, this effect often is pretty significant. I know multiple online-shops that make the majority of their business with long time customers. Even though over 50% of new customers drop out after the first month.

eddz 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Good post, but it does not consider conversion of former customers.

I develop a subscription service which launched in January and now has ~9,000 MAUs. This above metric accounts for ~10% of "new" subscribers each month, despite not yet making an effort (such as by sending reminder or "sorry" emails) to re-capture them.

The post does make a good point about retaining existing users, though.

I would like to add that we saw MAUs spike when redesigning the cancellation process to be more thankful and apologetic than spiteful. (Being a service for Japanese users, we included a little "thank you bow" animated character at the end of the process.)

One more point our cancellations for the first days of the month often come close to outnumbering new users. We have concluded that the reason for this is that users 1. perform their financial housekeeping around this time, and 2. find a low-numbered charge date easier to remember.

cbhl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What are your thoughts about Amazon moving into the subscription box business?


koliber 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There's an old saying: It's a lot more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one from leaving.
maweki 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Main takeaway:The function f(x) = 0.5*x + 100 has a fixed point at x = 200.
cluoma 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Implicit here is an assumption that the lifetime of subscribers is exponentially distributed. Which may or may not be the case.
petraeus 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The reason developers don't use math is because it never fits the real world models.
vmp 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't suppose CandyJapan has something for the lactose intolerant? :)
majortennis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
100+50+25= 175
JoelEmbiid 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Python and first checked the previous result
An Introduction to Support Vector Machines monkeylearn.com
256 points by feconroses  23 hours ago   57 comments top 8
currymj 20 hours ago 7 replies      
Since neural nets are winning at the moment, it's easy to see SVMs as an underdog, being ignored due to deep learning hype and PR. This is kind of true, but it's worth noting that 10-15 years ago we had the exact opposite situation. Neural nets were a once promising technique that had stagnated/hit their limits, while SVMs were the new state of the art.

People were coming up with dozens of unnecessary variations on them, everybody in the world was trying to shoehorn the word "kernel" into their paper titles, using some kind of kernel method was a surefire way to get published.

I wish machine learning research didn't respond so strongly to trends and hype, and I also wish the economics of academic research didn't force people into cliques fighting over scarce resources.

I'm still wondering what, if anything, is going to supplant deep learning. It's probably an existing technique that will suddenly become much more usable due to some small improvement.

deepnotderp 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I'd just like to note that instead of creating additional animosity between SVMs and deep nets, you could use both together. SVMs with hinge loss can be Yet-another-layer (tm) in your deep net, to be used when it provides better performance.
idrism 21 hours ago 1 reply      
For anyone interested in SVMs (and other introductory Machine Learning concepts), Udacity's intro course is really good: https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-machine-learning--ud...
Asdfbla 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I remember that only a few years ago, in a computational statistics class I took the lecturer mentioned how SVMs (and Random Forests) have largely replaced neural networks. How things can change so quickly...

I always liked SVMs for the elegance of the kernel trick, but I guess choosing the right kernel functions and parameters for them wasn't that much easier than training a neural net either.

chestervonwinch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
With SVM, you often must perform a rather larger grid search over kernels and kernel parameters. It seems like no matter the model, we can't avoid the hyperparameter problem -- although boosting and bagging meta-methods come close.

It would be nice if we could quantify the complexity of a dataset and match this to a model with similar complexity. I imagine that it's hard (or impossible) to decouple these two complexity quantifiers, however.

stared 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For SVMs I really like this intro: https://generalabstractnonsense.com/2017/03/A-quick-look-at-... (with hand drawings!)
chrischen 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain this part:

 Imagine the new space we want: z = x + y Figure out what the dot product in that space looks like: a b = xa xb + ya yb + za zb a b = xa xb + ya yb + (xa + ya) (xb + yb)

aaron-lebo 22 hours ago 1 reply      
For a recent practical example of their usefulness:

This paper presents the Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) 4.0 research design forupdating the database from 2002-2010. By using global search parameters and fifteeninternational news sources, we collected a set of over 1.74 million documents from LexisNexis.Care was taken to create an all-inclusive set of search parameters as well as asufficient and unbiased list of news sources. We classify these documents with two typesof support vector machines (SVMs). Using inductive SVMs and a single training set,we remove 90.2% of documents from our initial set. Then, using year-specific trainingsets and transductive SVMs, we further reduce the number of human-coded stories by anadditional 21.6%. The resulting classifications contain anywhere from 10,215 to 19,834documents per year.


Important security vulnerabilities in OpenVPN guidovranken.wordpress.com
263 points by guidovranken  2 days ago   92 comments top 10
simias 2 days ago 6 replies      
Vulnerability #2 is a good example of why OpenSSL is a minefield even for a competent coder. For such a security-critical library it's pretty insane that the API is so unfriendly, bordering on hostile.

> The correct way to do this is to call GENERAL_NAMES_free. This is because sk_GENERAL_NAME_free frees only the containing structure, whereas GENERAL_NAMES_free frees the structure AND its items.

And later:

> Here, the code assumes that a return value that is negative or zero indicates failure, and buf is not initialized, and needs not to be freed. But in fact, this is ONLY the case if ASN1_STRING_to_UTF8 returns a negative value. A return value 0 simply means a string of length 0, but memory is nonetheless allocated, so there are memory leaks here as well.

It mirrors my experience working with OpenSSL: you have to quadruple check each function invocation with the docs to make sure you got it right. You're never sure at a glance what's an input or an output parameter, what needs to be freed and how you're supposed to free it. What's the return value in case of error? 0? -1? <0? <=0? And then you have the macro soup with their STACK_OF "abstraction" (in the leakiest sense of the word) that just serves to make the code harder to reason about and is a huge pain when you want to create OpenSSL bindings for an other language.

Let me be clear: I don't blame the OpenSSL devs in any way. It's free, it's open source, they don't get a ton of money for that. Instead I blame all the big corporations who use OpenSSL "as-is", directly or indirectly, and don't invest some money to improve that mess. Maybe after a couple more Heartbleed-like vulnerabilities they'll take it a little more seriously.

ProxCoques 2 days ago 2 replies      
So I just installed ovpn on my phone just now. First place I go to test it is HN. And this story is literally top of the list.


dperfect 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since it's not clear from the blog post or the other HN comments: the vulnerabilities are fixed in OpenVPN 2.4.3 and 2.3.17.

OpenVPN users are advised to upgrade[1] "as soon as possible."

[1] https://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/downloads.html

akavel 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't understand why comment out ASSERTs; wouldn't they actually potentially protect against some of the listed issues?

The article mentions they interfere with libFuzzer; but isn't a fuzzer expected to detect and handle crashes as part of its core functionality?

LeonM 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's good to see that 2 donations, totaling 0.80260293 BTC (~2000 euro) are made to Guido's wallet [0]. Probably not worth his time, but since he states it was "a labor of love" it's still a nice extra!

Edit: corrected BTC amount.

[0] https://blockchain.info/address/1D5vYkiLwRptKP1LCnt4V1TPUgk7...

rsync 2 days ago 3 replies      
OpenVPN is very complicated and for that reason I use sshuttle[1] which is very simple.

It does require that you own an sshd running on an endpoint somewhere (like a VPS or an EC2 instance or your own server somewhere) - but if you can clear that hurdle, you end up with a very elegant and simple solution.

[1] https://github.com/sshuttle/sshuttle

chrisper 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was thinking of switching to L2TP instead. Would there be any downsides?

I tried out this script once and it worked well:


yuchi 2 days ago 8 replies      
Im gonna take the burden (someone would do that eventually anyway) and ask: how many of those issues would have been completely prevented by using a safer language such as Rust? How many would have been mitigated?

Im not a system programmer and the article, while indeed interesting, can be a little obscure.

microcolonel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Man, I'm eager for WireGuard to hit 1.0. It's very elegant, and I could build a policy layer on it in a couple days which doesn't suck.
shmerl 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of such stuff can be avoided by simply using Rust.
Twitch nabs exclusive streaming deal with Blizzard for e-sports events techcrunch.com
228 points by janober  2 days ago   191 comments top 18
nawgszy 2 days ago 12 replies      
I think it's very important for Twitch to do this, and I think they need to do it more, to be honest. Let me tell you a story.

I am a big Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fan. I play a bit, but I vastly prefer to watch professional play. I got into the game a year ago or so, and that seemed to be a glorious time to spectate the game. Streams were virtually exclusively on Twitch, and every weekend it felt like there was a ($100k+ prize pool) tournament, and every week there were high quality pick-up/practice games between professional players being streamed.

Of course (who can blame them?), YouTube Gaming wanted a piece of this pie. They cut some exclusive deals with a couple online leagues and tournament organizer, bringing a sizable chunk of the content with them to YouTube Gaming.

However, the users DID NOT follow (and UX over on YT can be almost entirely blamed), and the ensuing fracturing of the community has seen CS:GO drop from consistently top 5 in Twitch games to regularly outside the top 10. The thing is, though, the missing viewership mostly didn't migrate to YouTube, instead just deciding to not watch at all. The appeal behind Twitch and CS:GO was that there was basically non-stop _very high_ quality content being streamed, and you didn't need to put in a single ounce of effort to find it. YouTube very much does not have that same user flow down, at all.

And now (even though the position isn't particularly degraded), owing to the relative difficulty of finding tournaments on YouTube OR Twitch, I find myself watching a lot less. So goes the general vibe of the community. Sure, woe is us, 2 whole sources? But consider this: YouTube's discoverability is horrible, its UI plagued with reruns emblazoned with a red "LIVE NOW" that screams for your attention at first and later leaves you unwilling to trust any visuals on the site; Twitch, on the other hand, with its inability to pause / rewind / stream a smooth 1080p60 (hell, even 720p60 stutters 10x as much as YouTube's) leaves you comparatively upset about video quality when you watch there.

So I guess my point is that Twitch clearly loses in the tech department to YouTube, but its benefits (more entertaining chat, better discoverability and UI/UX) are more than enough to make you a dedicated user when exclusivity is part of that package. It'll be interesting to see which side can overcome its issues to gain the advantage.

Note: edits for readability have occurred over the 5 minutes following the posting of this comment

xfalcox 2 days ago 2 replies      
This sucks for the consumer. During DotA's The International I can choose between many services (in-game, Steam, Youtube, Twitch) and pick the one which works better for me.
niftich 2 days ago 2 replies      
In the past 12 months Blizzard has integrated Facebook login [1], Facebook Live streaming [2], and Facebook friend lists [3] into their revamped Blizzard App (previously known as the Battle.net Launcher). The live streaming functionality was particularly a shot across the bow [4][5] against someone like Twitch/Curse, so it's interesting to see that Amazon has now responded and forged this new deal with Blizzard. I'm curious if it's just about the content (driving viewers to the platform) or if there's more in the works between these two.

Warning, slow links:[1] https://venturebeat.com/2016/06/06/facebook-to-provide-login...[2] http://www.wowhead.com/news=255393/blizzard-and-facebook-str...[3] http://www.wowhead.com/news=260084/battle-net-and-facebook-f...[4] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12371440[5] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12381447

LandoCalrissian 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can I just say that the Justin.TV to Twich pivot was one of the best examples of pivoting to your market that I have ever seen?
randomdrake 2 days ago 14 replies      
Twitch has some very serious moderation challenges ahead of them, that they haven't proven they're able to solve, before I can be convinced this is a good thing. Online communities rely on good moderators and moderation tools to be able to thrive.

I am a big Hearthstone fan so I enjoy watching the competitions sometimes. It's been consistently the highest viewed Blizzard game on Twitch for a long time now so it's important to bring up in this discussion.

PlayHearthstone[1] is the official channel for Hearthstone events so you would think it would be representative of how Blizzard wants to operate in the competitive space. Whether it is due to technology, lack of oversight, or simply not caring, Twitch chat is notoriously atrocious; rampant with trolling, vitriol, spamming, and terrible behavior.

To make things worse, there's absolutely no consistency with how events are moderated, if they are at all.

For one event, members are banned for simply asking questions, or providing constructive criticism to the casting of the event with mods creating trigger phrases or words that lead to users getting banned immediately without knowing why. For other events, the chatters are allowed to use all manner of racial, sexual, demeaning, and outright threatening and horrific text towards the casters, the events, and the participants.

It's disgusting to watch, completely unprofessional, and something that has been brought up multiple times by the community with no concrete resolution.

Either Blizzard finds it acceptable, Twitch finds it acceptable, or they haven't figured out how to do well in moderating live chats with thousands of people.

Given their track record, I'm hesitant to be excited about the exclusivity.

[1] - https://www.twitch.tv/playhearthstone

detaro 2 days ago 4 replies      
Interesting this is now news, where a few years ago it would have been almost obvious that these events would be on Twitch, where else could they be? (not quite, there were competitors, but more specialized)
spicytunacone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wonder if Twitch somehow got a hold on major Brood War events, namely the Afreeca Starleague, seeing as how it was already getting restreamed in English on Twitch. With the HD remaster I imagine Blizzard would want to take back more control and hold more events of their own, too.

On that note, I still don't know what version/patch the competitive community wants to use going forward, either.

Aissen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Twitch is nice, but my biggest grief is that it's not YouTube. YouTube is literally everywhere, on every TV, set-top-box, cast device, etc. Twitch is not. Which make it more complicated to watch streams and vods/replays.

It's the same issue Netflix competitors have. They need to get everywhere fast.

sergiotapia 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's a shame, I like Mixer so much more than Twitch. Twitch at this point feels like MySpace, with all the custom bullshit sprinkled around. Mixer is nicer and clean, and f-a-s-t. I'm waiting for the Mixer apple tv app and I'll be all set.
diziet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Blizzard e-sport events were already streamed primarily on Twitch.
ArlenBales 1 day ago 0 replies      
Exclusive streaming deals are bad. E3 proved that Twitch has trouble with high viewer counts. YouTube had higher viewer counts on just about all major conferences at E3 and had no network problems.
james4k 2 days ago 1 reply      
A little surprising given that Blizzard owns MLG.tv, but maybe there are some more interesting details.
falcolas 2 days ago 0 replies      
As noted in the article, Twitch is owned by Amazon now, so they have a lot of money and other leverage to play with. It's not a knock against Twitch, but it's also not as much of a coup as the headline and article suggest.
gigatexal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sweet! Im more likely to watch eSports than the NFL or the NBA
blitmap 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm just tired of bundling deals together. I saw an ad online today saying if you're a Twitch Premium user you will get a gold loot box in Overwatch. I just want to enjoy Overwatch, and it feels like those loot boxes almost never deal out good loot anymore. I do not look forward to earning loot boxes.
l33r 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's more like Amazon* nabs exclusive streaming deal with Blizzard.
eterm 2 days ago 8 replies      
Twitch has destroyed the way I consume twitch. I used to stick twitch on my TV while eating dinner or for big events such as csgo majors or LCS finals.

But as of about a month ago twitch now blocks chromecast.

I can no longer watch twitch on my TV and I hate that fact. And no I'm not going to buy a 'fire stick', I don't like being manipulated into buying something when it previously worked well and has been deliberately downgraded.

6stringmerc 2 days ago 4 replies      
Wait, 320 Million viewers? That has to be a historical aggregate of sorts. What kind of source for that claim exists? Oh, let's check the link!

Hmm, okay, it goes to an article that cites another source. The BBC? Reputable source, so here's the deal:

>Esports generated $493m (400m) in revenue in 2016, with a global audience of about 320 million people.

So yeah, that's an aggregate of all of 2016. Let's compare it to the highest watched Super Bowl on record - Broncos vs. Seahawks: 111 million US viewers. In ONE DAY.

Yes I understand that I'm skewing pretty hard, but even the worst Super Bowl viewing in modern times pulled 39 million or so.

My point is that yeah, eSports looks like it has some numbers, but I work in a high rise building full of financially successful people that are desired marketing targets and I have little doubt barely 0.01% of them watch eSports.

Or, if I want to be a real jackass about it, I could just call eSports the equivalent of K-Pop. The numbers are there to show it's popular, sure. It's just not the target market for millions of dollars of advertising budget for US eyes.

Show HN: Sourcetrail Get productive on unfamiliar source code sourcetrail.com
286 points by nebucnaut  1 day ago   106 comments top 29
enobrev 19 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks like an exceptionally useful tool! Thanks for making and sharing it. The video is excellent.

It reminds me of a feature I've always wanted, which would be a code unravel-er. Basically I'd like to be able to select a line anywhere in a codebase, and have said codebase expand to show me the entire execution path as if it were in one single scope, with the ability to re-collapse sections back into loops and functions while reading.

I think it would help to better understand the codepaths that can start to get fuzzy when jumping between abstractions. It would be great - not only for understanding unfamiliar code - but also for double-checking logic across longer code paths.

At any rate - great idea, great implementation, and beautiful website.

danielvf 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I used Sourcetrail a few months ago to figure out a ugly ball of embedded C code that I needed to reimpliment. Sourcetrail was super helpful for this. It paid for itself in an afternoon.
chubot 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hm does anyone know of a web-based tool like this that uses Clang as a back end? I want to put open source code like the bash and Python interpreters in it and be able to navigate symbolically. And I want nice permalinks.

EDIT: It looks like https://woboq.com/codebrowser.html is what I want. The code available but not under and open source license. https://github.com/woboq/woboq_codebrowser/

I will probably try this, but I'm interested in alternatives!

m712 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not saying this is bad, but...

Instead of giving money to a tool like this, you could just use ctags/etags, both of which are Free Software. It doesn't show detailed graphs like Sourcetrail does, but it allows source code traversal by function definitions, and supports a crapton of languages.

alkonaut 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Website feedback: Supported languages is the #1 most important piece of info about this software. It should be front and center and probably repeated a few times already on the landing page.
peternicky 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Can you please share the roadmap for adding new language support?
agentgt 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a feature request if it isn't already in the works:

Runtime analysis of code that actually matters ie live code.

Often its hard to figure out what in the code base actually matters.

Debugging is still sort of difficult and dead code is really hard to find and get rid of. Particularly if reflection is used heavily which it almost always is these days.

Otherwise (IMO) as a Java developer IntelliJ and Eclipse are actually not that far off in their static analysis and already pretty good to discover the code. Especially IntelliJ as I can easily see them enhancing their code view/discovery as well as they already have static dead code analysis.

I guess I don't think discovering code bases is that much of a problem compared to understand what is actually running.

That is I think debugging particularly multithreaded applications is vastly more difficult problem. Thus runtime analysis would be very useful.

dkarapetyan 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I really want something like this for heterogenous codebases. Maybe along the lines of ollydbg and ida but for "reverse" engineering Ruby, python, and go.
nikki93 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting can you edit code in the text view too? Wonder if this could be the one place to write your code too.
aeling 23 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks super interesting - great video! Everything is processed offline, I assume? No code leaves the machine?
skibz 22 hours ago 1 reply      
There doesn't seem to be a vscode plugin for Sourcetrail. Could be a worthwhile addition?
mden 14 hours ago 0 replies      
On a first look, it looks amazing. This is actually what I've always imagined "graphical" programming to look like.
girishso 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Slightly tangential.. a code editor was showcased on HN few years back, with context sensitive "panes".. for example currently selected function/variable declarations in another pane. Very impressive stuff, but can't seem to find it anywhere now.
kuangye 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anyone run a large codebase like chromium with this tool? Is the indexing looking at what's compiled like libclang or is it static like gtags?
tempodox 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I could use something like this for PHP spaghetti code.
ifree 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Got lots of compiling error when trying it on a large code base
justboxing 21 hours ago 2 replies      
How different is this from CodeLens ? Seems like most of these features are in CodeLens anyways, maybe the licensing for CodeLens??

CodeLens => https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn269218.aspx

boltzmannbrain 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks cool! This hits a pain point of mine working in a legacy Python and C/C++ codebase. Any plans for Python support?
coffeeski 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Watched the demo video, can you add support to Javascript and Ruby? This is an amazing tool
bastijn 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you also have arrows to methods in your own class? In addition, how does this relate to code maps in VS?


Seems they cover a similar thing.

Zalos 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Any plans to add support for PHP to this? it looks really cool :)
problems 23 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the C++ support like?
nickpresta 22 hours ago 1 reply      
What languages are supported? At least on mobile, there is zero mention of language support outside of testimonials and screenshots. Is it just Java and C++?
joshdotsmith 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks fantastic. Do you have plans to support additional languages?

This would be particularly useful in open source.

nautilus12 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I doubt you could ever get something like this working for Ruby, which is where it is actually badly needed.
redm 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the implementation for C++, I'm just waiting for more language support.
pavlakoos 16 hours ago 1 reply      
That looks amazing. Does it also work with Objective-C ?
jsk2600 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Any plans to support Kotlin ?
coffeeski 18 hours ago 1 reply      
A CDN hosted site would be good
Show HN: NBox Sign up anywhere without giving your email address notif.me
280 points by bdav24  2 days ago   203 comments top 35
talove 2 days ago 21 replies      
I've had a catch-all for *@mydomain.com forward to my primary email address for 10+ years. In that time I signed up for services and websites with [domain]@mydomain.com thinking I'd catch all those dirty scoundrels selling my email address and have an easy way to filter unwanted mail.

But you know what really happened? I wound up with hard to remember email logins and caught less than a handful of services sharing my email address without my permission.

It wasn't worth it.

bigtunacan 2 days ago 3 replies      
I think this is a good idea, but pretty poorly executed again.

Another user commented that you could just register your own domain and do this; that's great for the average hacker news reader, but not so great for the average Joe so a service like this (if done correctly) would be pretty convenient.

Things that jump out right away as bad about this NBox.

1) It just auto generates an email for me. That's going to be a pain in the ass to remember.

2) Wait; how do I login? I literally don't understand how to login to this app short of going to the site and I get auto logged in by the Chrome extension?

3) Why do I even need a Chrome extension to get my email; where is the password protection so I can login from a different device or god forbid my computer crashes?

4) Not every service asking for an email address is a web service. If I sit down for dinner at an Applebees and order a meal a server is going to tell me the appetizer is free if I just provide my email address... and I want that free appetizer minus the side of spam...

As someone else noted mailhero.io is basically the same service as this, but it's big flaw is that the real email address is exposed since it's always included in the provided email address.

spam.u.later@mailhero.io (ah; real address is later@mailhero.io) Also; many other email services (including GMail can do the samething as mailhero using + addressing and adding rules.

_Marak_ 2 days ago 10 replies      
As an alternative, you could register a domain with a catch-all email address and simply register for new services on the fly using a unique string for each site. Have the catch-all forward to your main email account.

For example, I would sign-up for HN using hackernews@marak.com and for Reddit using reddit@marak.com

Simple and effective.

bdav24 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hi, I'm David, one of the developers of nBox.

nBox generates for you an email address for each site, for free.

- Effortlessly thanks to our browser extensions

- Addresses are anonymous and private

- Delete the addresses you don't want any more

- Be notified according to your preferences on each email

I'm looking to share the service. Any feedback is very welcome.


jswny 2 days ago 2 replies      
So how is this different from something like Mailinator.com? In my opinion, I can't see a use case in which I'd care enough to have my temporary email private. If I cared enough I'd just use my real email.
kchr 1 day ago 4 replies      
Why does it feel like I am the only one using plus sign (+) feature supported by SMTP standards?


TL;DR - Most SMTP servers support delivering mail to addresses like foo+bar@email.com, in which case it will be received by foo@email.com. You can specify whatever string of alphanum chars you'd like after the plus sign.

ionelmarcu 2 days ago 2 replies      
A link to the chrome extension on the landing page would be quite useful (Otherwise visitors need to go to the chrome web store and search for it...and some of them are too lazy to do it). But otherwise I really like the idea. I'll give it a try ;)

P.S. here's the link for the extension:https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nbox-your-registra...

alkonaut 2 days ago 1 reply      
How does it work? I mean how does it generate addresses that aren't blocked by the a services (like mailinator and similar throwaway email sites)? Does it use thousands of random domains?
hota_mazi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Most of these new email services overlook a few very important details which guarantee that they will probably not be around in a year:

1. You need to have multiple domains. If your solution is just one host name and your service becomes popular, it will become blacklisted in a matter of months.

2. The volume of spam you'll receive is huge. Really huge. Even if your service is only moderately successful. It costs money to keep such a service running.

StavrosK 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've been using 33mail.com for years for this. I just give it an address like "hackernews@username.33mail.com" and it forwards email. If hackernews ever starts spamming, 33mail gives me a link to block it.

I love that service, it's saved me countless headaches.

ajnin 2 days ago 2 replies      
Presumably if I don't want to receive spam emails I'm also unlikely to allow a website to send me notifications. I'm unlikely as well to install an extension for a very specific service I'm not going to use very often. Extensions are a privacy concern and consume memory needlessly.

If I'm willing to give a fake registration email I probably don't care about privacy and this is just for throwaway anyway. I'm not going to give any personal info to a website I don't trust with my email in the first place.

I also don't understand how this is not going to be blacklisted like any other anti-spam email service.

Maybe I'm not the target for this product bu this seems to bring nothing new in a slightly more annoying way.

JadeNB 2 days ago 1 reply      
The FAQ says that it's not a disposeable-e-mail-generator, but the description of what it does makes it seem like that's exactly what it is. (Maybe it means that it doesn't generate random e-mail addresses from a shared pool?)

I've been a satisfied user of SpamGourmet (www.spamgourmet.com) for years, and the only (argueable) downside I've seen is how upset customer-service representatives get upset while reading my address. How does your service compare?

markwakeford 2 days ago 1 reply      
So a lot of systems these days use email password recovery, is this not just adding another attack vector ?.

> bdav24: Hi water42, don't ever trust anyone with your data, governments and big companies get hacked every day. Our angle: we don't ask for any personal information

You will be able to route/read all of an individuals inbound mail ?

mgberlin 2 days ago 1 reply      
So if you shut down I no longer receive any emails I have signed up for?
iliketosleep 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am trying to understand this. Appears to offer bulk accounts that are easy to create and permanent, targeting the market that sits between a) regular email addresses, which are permanent but a pain to sign up for, needing phone verification, etc. and b) throwaway accounts that are easy to create but cannot be kept long-term.

This seems like an interesting idea if they own a whole bunch of different domains, but they don't specify this, and my attempt to sign up for an address failed. (open firefox -> click create my nBox -> click Sign up for a service (i type https://facebook.com) -> receive message saying "To create your nBoxAllow the notifications" -> No simple info about how to do this is given, so I give up)

ianai 2 days ago 0 replies      
I need this for cell #s

Having said that, I plan on using this.

synicalx 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a good idea but creating a new address for each site seems to be overcomplicating a simple problem. I just have "mynormalemailalias_spam@domain" which is used for sign ups, if I ever need to log into a site I've signed up with using that address it's easy to remember the login details and/or reset my password.
mccolin 2 days ago 1 reply      
This seems like it's almost "1Password for Email Addresses," which would be pretty great: go to site, hit key combination, have random/saved email inserted into login boxes. Combining that with email forwarding to my real email address that I can turn on and off is pretty powerful.
imhoguy 2 days ago 1 reply      
In my experience spamers use mostly email addreses publicly exposed (web sites, usenet, forums) and stolen address books (viruses, malware) - you can't do much about the second if that happens to your recipients.
cdubzzz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why is it required to enable notifications from the nbox site in order to generate an address?
suhith 2 days ago 2 replies      
These days many services ask for a phone number for 2FA just to sign up, it'd be great to have a tool that gave you multiple numbers on demand so you don't have to give out your phone number.
nkkollaw 2 days ago 1 reply      
If the service is down or I want to stop using it I'm totally screwed, though.

Usually if I forget the password to a service they can send me a reset link, what would my options be with NBox?

monista 2 days ago 1 reply      
I tried to "Create my nbox" (or "Generate an address") and it sent me to Chrome addons site.Is it Chrome-only web service?
dmitrygr 2 days ago 1 reply      
This has existed and been free for 22 years already: http://www.mytrashmail.com/
sashk 2 days ago 1 reply      
How is this different from, let's say mailhero.io?
ikeboy 2 days ago 1 reply      
1. Great idea. It's been done by Blur from Abine.com which I've been using for years.

2. Possibly offer the ability to self host this?

midnitewarrior 2 days ago 1 reply      
So what's it like when NBox goes under and you can't recover your password on any of your sites?
pzht 2 days ago 0 replies      
Randomly saw this, a typo on the first slider image - Navigate :)
jv22222 2 days ago 1 reply      
Curious as to how they get ramen profitable off of this? Anyone got any ideas?
grenran 2 days ago 1 reply      
So wait, so instead of giving your email address, you're giving another email address? That's just like email addresses with extra steps.
graphememes 2 days ago 0 replies      
These get banned quickly, just a heads up
irrational 2 days ago 1 reply      
The first thing I saw was "naviguate". Um, no, if you can't even manage to run a spell checker I don't think I can trust you.
water42 2 days ago 1 reply      
how do i know i can trust the security and privacy of this?
gkfasdfasdf 2 days ago 0 replies      
highstarter 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a neat concept and useful especially for heavy internet users.
       cached 23 June 2017 15:11:01 GMT