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Disney acquires own streaming facilities, will pull Netflix content thewaltdisneycompany.com
717 points by anigbrowl  2 days ago   758 comments top 2
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geff82 2 days ago 24 replies      
Maybe when I am 60, 70 or 80 the film industry will get their shi* together and finally agree on a solution that has long been found in the music business.

For a truly complete platform, I would FOR SURE pay more than the 10$ a month for Netflix. 20, maybe 30! But then I want it ALL. All films they have in storage.

I mean, it is 2017 and there are a lot of films I can't find on Netflix, Amazon Prime or, when I am in spending mood, on Apple TV. Why? I mean how silly would you want to be as studios? There is no big DVD business anymore, BlueRay never totally took off. People have a net connection and multiple streaming devices at home, thats it. Thats the big asset they could build on! Instead they let their libraries die the death of the unseen film.

Still, many keep shuffeling around harddrives with terabytes of pirated films. And why shouldn't they, as long as there is no substantial offer?

So I decided for me (and the cloud guy I am), that with my 3 services I have, I am ok. If a film is not there, I don't care. I surely won't order a DVD of some old film somewhere and I surely will not subscribe to another service. If Disneys pulls their films from Netflix: thanks Netflix for their growing self produced content that often has a quality not seen before.

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Anatidae 2 days ago 46 replies      
If every studio thinks I'm going to pay them $10+ a month to stream their content, they are going to be very mistaken.

I can't imagine that a lot of people want to spend the collective hundreds of dollars to sign up for all the streaming services. It's almost asking to drive people to torrents.

Now, if Disney does something like $30/year or something really affordable - sure. I might do that on a whim. I guess it's all about volume vs. price.

Netflix, however, I'll keep paying for gladly because of the library size. For the streaming price, it is well worth the value.

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The Internet Archive has digitized 25,000 78rpm Gramophone records archive.org
689 points by yurisagalov  2 days ago   97 comments top 33
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indescions_2017 2 days ago 5 replies      
House of the Rising Sun. As interpreted by Josh White, advisor and confidant to F.D.R. Priceless ;)

https://archive.org/details/78_house-of-the-rising-sun_josh-...

I find myself on Internet Archive a lot during these dog days of summer. Delving into classic texts like Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars or Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy. Discovering a forgotten H. P. Lovecraft story in the Weird Tales archive. Mining old time radio shows like Suspense for story inspiration. And using the Internet Arcade for screen grabs that can be used in retro-style game texture art. It makes me think I should do a better job of preserving my own output. You never know what future generations may find useful!

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komali2 2 days ago 2 replies      
Fun to read some of these reviews, apparentl from random internet folk, like on jungle boogie - https://archive.org/details/78_jungle-boogie_the-bobby-true-...

Some guy just wanted to tell everyone some neat little facts about this thing he apparently knows a lot about. I find it fascinated how much people care to know about things like this.

EDIT: whoever this "arc-alison" character is, they're prolific - I'm finding their informational reviews all over this archive.

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guyfawkes303 2 days ago 10 replies      
The records I clicked on have this notice

Digitized from a shellac record, at 78 revolutions per minute. Four stylii were used to transfer this record. They are 3.8mm truncated conical, 2.3mm truncated conical, 2.8mm truncated conical, 3.3mm truncated conical. These were recorded flat and then also equalized with NAB.

The preferred version suggested by an audio engineer at George Blood, L.P. is the equalized version recorded with the 2.3mm truncated conical stylus, and has been copied to have the more friendly filename.

I'm trying to guess but can't imagine what the reasoning for this is. I've tried A/B/C/D testing a few tracks on some crappy speakers and can't discern any difference.

While it's certainly admirable to try and digitize it as thoroughly as possible, I just can't see how a difference of 0.5mm in the stylus width is worth increasing your work load 4x times over (having to record each record 4 times rather than just once).

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ShirsenduK 2 days ago 1 reply      
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jonah-archive 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots more info here for the curious: http://great78.archive.org

You can see a picture of one of the four-armed turntables here: http://great78.archive.org/preservation/

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beaugunderson 2 days ago 0 replies      
They had me make a Twitter bot that's tweeting out all of the 78s (with preview audio) as well:

https://twitter.com/old_78s

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sushisource 2 days ago 0 replies      
More sample fodder for the EDM artists and rappers. Always a good thing.
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mortalkastor 2 days ago 1 reply      
The "Bibliothque nationale de France" (national library of France) did the same kind of thing with hundreds of thousands vinyl records from their archive, including international ones published in France: http://www.bnfcollectionsonore.fr/
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jrowley 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have no experience with this stuff, but I wonder if they could use a laser record player to capture the record, and then replay it with different simulated stylus sizes. Not exactly kosher probably, but could be an interesting experiment. Plus scanning time could be greatly reduced I imagine.
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e12e 2 days ago 0 replies      
Certainly a bit of everything on there... :)

https://archive.org/details/78_rambling-wreck-from-georgia-t...

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pier25 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any sound restoration software would greatly improve these recordings.

For example this one from 1902: https://archive.org/details/78_medley-of-emmetts-yodles_yodl...

I'm sure Izotope would give the RX license for free in exchange for a blog post (or any other audio software company).

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daveheq 2 days ago 0 replies      
Imagine after World War 3, the aliens sift through the remnants of humanity, find this archive of digitized 78rpm records, and turn into mustachioed corduroy-wearing hipsters.
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0xcb0 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is just great! Listening to these songs instantly sets me back to a relaxed inner state. Together with that sizzling noise of the gramophone record in the background, so calm and chilled.

I currently listen to "A Duke Ellington Panorama", just nice!

Thanks for that and keep up the awesome work!

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menacingly 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very cool that they offer 24bit flac downloads. I'm sure this sentiment is shared here, but I am always impressed by the efforts of this organization
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Nav_Panel 2 days ago 3 replies      
Some very very good stuff in here. I've gotten pretty into 20s thru 50s music over the past couple of years. I usually buy compilations on LP, though, so it's a treat to find these straight off the 78s. A big portion of the stuff never even makes it to digital.

Just at a glance, I'm seeing The Light Crust Doughboys[1], basically a string band supergroup. Multiple members would go on to found famous western swing bands (Bob Wills, Milton Brown). Very proto-rock-and-roll -- listen to that electric guitar -- Elvis would cover some Western Swing numbers[2] in his early days[3].

Also seeing some older stuff, including a few recordings by the (arguable) best banjo player of all time, Vess L. Ossman[4] (from 1907). Pretty cool to listen to these march numbers and then hear them evolve into jazz/ragtime only a couple years later[5] (this is a recording by Fred Van Eps, the second best banjo player of all time, from 1914).

EDITS: seeing some other personal favorites:

Hank Penny, a favorite western swing singer of mine[6]. He usually does it hot/upbeat/fun.

Blind Blake, a guitarist who could play the fretboard like a ragtime piano[7]!

Oh, and here's the WWII-era Bob Wills I was waiting for[8]. Got that classic Leon McAuliffe pedal steel playing. No Tommy Duncan vocals, unfortunately.

Neat! An old solo Art Tatum[9]! Widely considered the best pianist of all time... And another, a whole album[10]!

Really classic early electric guitar playing on a jump blues number by T-Bone Walker[11]. I actually believe he's one of the first to use the electric guitar in blues.

Great steel guitar playing on this Gene Autry cowboy number[12].

Looks like there's a lot of Django for all you gypsy jazz fans[13]. Never heard this take on Avalon before, I dig it.

Lot more to dig through and lot of obscure stuff I'd like to give a shot, but I'm out of time for now...

1: https://archive.org/details/78_pretty-little-dear_light-crus...

2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wGCTFWhoqQ

3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bSVEA0ZAVw

4: https://archive.org/details/78_policy-king-march_vess-l.-oss...

5: https://archive.org/details/78_notoriety-rag_van-eps-trio-ka...

6: https://archive.org/details/78_get-yourself-a-red-head_hank-...

7: https://archive.org/details/78_tampa-bound_blind-blake_gbia0...

8: https://archive.org/details/78_texas-playboy-rag_wills-bob-w...

9: https://archive.org/details/78_deep-purple_art-tatum-mitchel...

10: https://archive.org/details/78_art-tatum_art-tatum-james-swi...

11: https://archive.org/details/78_t-bone-blues_les-hite-and-his...

12: https://archive.org/details/78_silver-haired-daddy-of-mine_g...

13: https://archive.org/details/78_the-quintet-of-the-hot-club-o...

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Finnucane 2 days ago 1 reply      
Too bad it doesn't seem to be easily searched by label--from a historical perspective, it would be cool to be able to search for say, Paramount or Gennet or Okeh.
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tamersalama 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like there are some recordings by Sergei Rachmaninoff himself [1]

[1] https://archive.org/details/georgeblood?sort=&and[]=subject%...

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hmhrex 2 days ago 2 replies      
Just curious, what's the copyright on this kind of material?
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matt_wulfeck 2 days ago 3 replies      
How would one go about removing the pops and clicks from recorded audio programmatically?

I really like some of the audio here but it needs some post processing. The only thing I can find to do it is audacity and it doesn't look very friendly to scripting.

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sdsk8 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know about everybody here, but i am listening to so much new things to me on this archive that i'll definitely donate to the archive team today, congratulations for this fantastic job!
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fortyfivan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is great! I've been a serious record collector for 20 years, but never got into 78s.

My eventual life goal is to do something similar with my Brazilian record collection... have the skeleton of such catalog at: https://www.novedos.com/collection.

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vinchuco 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a way to stream these indefinitely on shuffle without having to pick each one manually?
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orbitingpluto 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the crowning gem from the Internet Archive (from the 78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings collection).

Cab Calloway, The Man from Harlem

https://archive.org/details/Harlem

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S_A_P 2 days ago 0 replies      
So the obvious win here besides archiving art is that this is out of copyright sample fodder*

*IANAL and this may not be the case for all the material but I'm sure that there is mountains of inspiration to be mined.

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barking 2 days ago 0 replies      
What did they smell of?It was really unusual.Tesco, briefly, had an own brand hand soap liquid in the 1990s with exactly the same smell.
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kmeade 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm curious about something and I can't find the answer on the web site -- Why were these recordings played and digitized in stereo when the records were mono?
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amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it possible to search based on genre or geographic origin?
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neelkadia 2 days ago 0 replies      
New stuff for Machine Learning. GAN. Magenta.
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anjc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am become The Avalanches, mixer of old songs

Very cool

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cJ0th 2 days ago 0 replies      
thanks for the heads up. this is just amazing!
3
Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest sun-like star ucsc.edu
596 points by mrfusion  23 hours ago   274 comments top 17
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ExactoKnight 19 hours ago 22 replies      
I am flabbergasted that as a society we aren't rushing to build a 100 metre wide telescope mirror large enough for us to directly image the spectra of the potentially habitable exoplanets around us.

A telescope this large could tell us whether any of these potentially habitable planets contain oxygen, and thus, biological processes.

Yet thanks to funding cuts in science the biggest telescope we have in the pipeline right now is one with a 30 metre mirror. This telescope won't be big enough, and as a result, our failure to push now for bigger sizes is almost certainly going to push back for decades humanity's ability to answer one of the most important questions we face:

Why are we here, and are we alone.

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semaphoreP 23 hours ago 1 reply      
This title is a bit imprecise. They detected four planets with lower bound on their masses to be down to 1.7 Earth masses. Because these planets don't transit, there are no direct measurements from their radius. They can use mass-radius relations to infer the radius of these planets, but the key finding is their masses (actually lower bounds on their masses).
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kilroy123 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I really really want project Starshot to become a reality. I think this is our best bet for scoping out these near by star systems. At least within our lifetime.

If we could hit 50% speed of light we could do a fly-by mission in ~25 years. Then another 12 years waiting for the data. Honestly, ~37-40 years isn't bad for an interstellar mission. Remember the Voyager programhas been going on for that long! So we already have experience with long space missions.

https://breakthroughinitiatives.org/Initiative/3https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakthrough_Initiatives#Break...

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baron816 21 hours ago 16 replies      
Ok, let's assume we find a warm, watery planet like Earth's within ~20 light years, and we figure out a way to travel >= 50% the speed of light, making it somewhat reasonable to get there. If the planet's gravity is greater than 10% different from Earth's, or its Day/Night cycle is much different from Earth's, wouldn't it still be a nightmare to live on.

Anatomically modern humans have lived on Earth for 200,000 years, and the creatures we descended from have lived on Earth for 541 million years. Stuff as dumb as the moon cycles affect us. How are we going to live somewhere that isn't exactly Earth?

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deepGem 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Unlike more common smaller stars, such as the red dwarf stars Proxima Centauri and Trappist-1, they are not so faint that planets would be tidally locked, showing the same side to the star at all times.

In such planets, the most habitable zone is around an equator like region where the light and dark regions kind of merge to produce a reddish sunset like hue all through the day. I think one of the planets that Kepler discovered is like that. Life would evolve to absorb these light wavelengths. So for instance plants would all look black. Nova has a great episode on these exoplanets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HZsFMqqGJo&t=793s

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deanCommie 22 hours ago 4 replies      
Key line to mitigate disappointment:

"The outer two planets around tau Ceti are likely to be candidate habitable worlds, although a massive debris disc around the star probably reduces their habitability due to intensive bombardment by asteroids and comets."

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u801e 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if an observer 12 light-years away with similar technology to us would be able to tell the difference between Venus and Earth in terms of whether they are potentially habitable.
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chrismealy 22 hours ago 3 replies      
The fastest spacecraft ever built would take 4000 years to travel one light year.
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frgtpsswrdlame 22 hours ago 4 replies      
Is there any benefit to the planets being earth-sized? I would think the important part is that they're in the habitable zone.
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RandomedaA 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel like something similar to this is announced every year, and nothing ever comes of it.
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mbfg 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Would there be any value in putting a telescope on the moon? You wouldn't have the atmosphere problem, and i'd expect servicing it would be mildly easier than have it out at L2 or something.?

I suppose the fact that the moon was tidally locked would be something of a problem for full sky observation. Is that the main issue?

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arkainW123 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Hearing distances like 12 light years makes you think if it is ever possible to travel there.However, when you start to think about it, nihilist thoughts start to kick in.
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dnprock 12 hours ago 0 replies      
We need to send bacteria to those planets. That'd make life multi-planet. Maybe, that's how life arrived on Earth.
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SilverPaladin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the Mormons will be starting their ship construction now?
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sova 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's go! Who's with me? How much stronger do my bones need to be to live on the 1.7x gravity NeoEarths?
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wfunction 16 hours ago 0 replies      
"This required techniques sensitive enough to detect variations in the movement of the star as small as 30 centimeters per second."

This kind of precision sounds insane. It sounds like far more of an achievement than having found Earth-sized planets. Is there any layman explanation of how they do such a thing?

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jamisteven 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I feel like something similar to this is announced every year, and nothing ever comes of it.
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uBlock Origin Maintainer on Chrome vs. Firefox WebExtensions discourse.mozilla.org
755 points by nachtigall  1 day ago   313 comments top 12
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bad_user 1 day ago 8 replies      
After being a Chrome user for several years, I've switched back to Firefox for the past two years or so and I'm really, really happy with it.

Latest version does multi-processing, e10s is finally here (though it might still get disabled by usage of certain add-ons, I remember I had to force it to stay enabled).

On performance, in the past it felt sluggish, but now Firefox is fast and for my usage patterns it uses less memory than Chrome.

And one thing I really love is the Awesome Bar, which is a pain point every single time I open Chrome. I have a lot of websites I need to return to and in Chrome I end up searching on Google far more than I should. I guess that's the biggest difference between Firefox and Chrome, as Mozilla does not feel obligated to shareholders to extract ads clicks from you (although I hope that whatever they do keeps them afloat).

Also, tab management. I installed "Tab Center" from the Test Pilot and it's awesome. The experiment is now over unfortunately and the code itself for Tab Center isn't compatible with WebExtensions, but there's work going on to port it and that highlights that Firefox's WebExtensions will be more flexible than Chrome, if they aren't already.

But in the end I actually care more about trusting my browser and its maker to protect my interests. I actually trust Google more than I trust other companies, but something feels very wrong for a company to have so much leverage on me. Which is why, as long as I have a choice, I'll always prefer Firefox over Chrome, or Safari, or Edge.

2
AdmiralAsshat 1 day ago 2 replies      
> It baffles me that some people thinks Firefox is becoming a Chrome clone, its just not the case, its just plain silly to make such statement.

That's probably the single most reassuring statement about Firefox that I've heard in some time, coming from a serious dev who makes a popular cross-platform addon for both Firefox and Chrome.

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yborg 1 day ago 9 replies      
I found this disturbing:

"Chromium-based browsers are being infested by Instart Logic tech which works around blockers and worst, around browser privacy settings (they may start infecting Firefox eventually, but that is not happening now)."

From his linked post:

"Instart Logic will detect when the developer console opens, and cleanup everything then to hide what it does"

Is this implemented via a CDN-delivered script? Why would Chromium-based browsers be more susceptible?

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nachtigall 1 day ago 1 reply      
To add to the list:

* You can run the uBlock Origin on Firefox for Android: https://addons.mozilla.org/EN-US/android/addon/ublock-origin...

Afaik there's no ad-blocking extension for Chrome for Android which I find pretty telling. I'm using Firefox on Android and the ad-blocking (less traffic, less blink-blink animations and less CPU consumption) make mobile browsing a night-day difference

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penpapersw 1 day ago 2 replies      
Huh. These actually sound like good arguments to switch to Firefox, arguments I've never heard before until now.
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wyc 1 day ago 3 replies      
Keep in mind that it's not within Google's incentives to facilitate ad-blocking and prevention of tracking. After all, that's where the lion's share of their revenue comes from. However, Mozilla is free to actively support such efforts.
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Hasknewbie 1 day ago 2 replies      
Slightly OT: is that what a 'Discourse' page looks like? It's pretty awful: it will automatically update the URL as you scroll past each post in any direction, while breaking the Back button, so good luck getting back to the original post, since neither clicking on Back nor reloading the page will get you there. Basic UX failure.
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albertgoeswoof 1 day ago 5 replies      
Firefox is coming back, finally- I think their market share is at the bottom and we'll see a big uptake over the next couple of years.
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kasabali 1 day ago 1 reply      
uBlock Origin on Firefox would be more powerful than uBlock Origin on Chrome, but does it mean that uBlock Origin webextension on Firefox will be as powerful as uBlock Origin "legacy" Firefox extension ?

This is a post of gorhill from the last months Firefox - Google Analytics fiasco:

> Legacy uBlock Origin can block the network request to GA.

> However webext-hybrid uBO as per Network pane in dev tools does not block it. Same for pure webext Ghostery, the network request to GA was not blocked, again as per Network pane in dev tools.

> What is concerning is that both uBO webext-hybrid and Ghostery report the network request to GA as being blocked, while it is really not as per Network pane in dev tools. It's as if the order to block/redirect the network request was silently ignored by the webRequest API, and this causes webext-based blockers to incorrectly and misleadingly report to users what is really happening internally, GA was not really blocked on about:addons, but there is no way for the webext blockers to know this and report properly to users.

https://github.com/mozilla/addons-frontend/issues/2785#issue...

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jancsika 1 day ago 0 replies      
Couldn't the devtools listener shenanigans be solved merely by putting a "pause" button in the browser chrome (possibly through an extension)? Browsers are already throttling CPU usage when the tab isn't visible, so it doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to just throttle to 0 with a toggle.

Even better-- have the pause button in devtools window, "pause" by default when you open devtools, and then unpause once something gets mutated/re-layout'd.

I guess you'd still need to protect the devtools shortcut key so that any DOM shenanigans are guaranteed to get invoked after the devtools listener. But browsers already have all kinds of crazy edge-cases in the name of security (e.g., no manual triggering of <select> menu). Keeping polymorphic worms from corrupting the devtools state seems rather important by comparison.

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mnarayan01 1 day ago 0 replies      
> It baffles me that some people thinks Firefox is becoming a Chrome clone, its just not the case, its just plain silly to make such statement.

If you use a much narrower definition of "clone" than is typically used in this context, then sure. If, however, you use "clone" a bit more flexibly, and note the word "becoming", then it's a different story. That's not to say that Firefox won't be better than Chrome, and it's certainly not to say that it won't have any advantages over Chrome, but it is giving up some of its major current advantages.

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NormenKD 1 day ago 4 replies      
I am considering going back to FF, but it seems FIDO U2F still isn't done completely and the U2F Extension for FF is not working anymore since the WebExtension switch.

Please correct me if missed something, but i think i have to hold off for a little bit longer.

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Salesforce fires red team staffers who gave Defcon talk zdnet.com
684 points by stevekillian  1 day ago   284 comments top 11
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defcontalks 1 day ago 6 replies      
I was one of the people that was there when it happened. My coworkers and I were asking one of them questions after the talk. The goons were kicking us out of the rooms because it was the last talk of the day and they wanted People to leave. We were talking in the hallway and asking him questions when we ran into the other presenter there(And people were asking him questions too). Anyway few mins later I see our old executive walk to them and tell them they have to talk. They started walking and talking but it was right in the open and you could pretty much hear them. They end up stopping and looks like they were trying to defend themselves. Few mins later the executive leaves and the end up walking back to the group that was still waiting to ask them questions (including us). They had been fired effective immediately.

The executive is Jim Alkove. He is a moron and our security org has completed revamped after he "left" to join other companies. All the recent advancements in Microsoft security/Win10 were because we no longer had a leader like him.

Feel sorry for these guys.

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phobeusappola 1 day ago 4 replies      
If you're close to the Silicon Valley tech community you know the Salesforce datacenter organization and recently security organization has been taken over by many ex-Microsoft executives who are fairly clueless when it comes to security.

This has left the security organization mired in internal political turmoil and has triggered the exodus of most intelligent security professionals from the organization.

This situation appears to be a case of the new and confused security executive mentioned in comments on this thread over reacting.

I say "confused" because for the presenters to get this far they obviously has gone through levels of approval for the talk and presented material internally. This talk was indeed presented before at the Chatham House Red Team Summit in SF where many tech company Red teams were present and code released to some collaborating parties. If you don't know what is going on in your own organization with your directors you are confused.

I say "over reacting" because any decent security executive knows you can't ask a team member to pull a Defcon talk on extremely short notice as it would be damaging to their personal reputation in the community. Firing them for not pulling the talk is completely idiotic as it's likely burn the organizational reputation with the security community. It was likely just a snap decision by said confused executive who did not understand the ramifications of his decision. If you fire someone after they get off the stage at Defcon you more than likely have overreacted.

Sadly these are the types of this that happen when you have poor leadership at high levels. I feel bad for the good security folks still left at Salesforce who have to tolerate this garbage. Luckily there is a massive demand for good security professionals so they should have no trouble finding other employment, hopefully with competent leadership.

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kafkaesq 1 day ago 3 replies      
The unnamed Salesforce executive is said to have sent a text message to the duo half an hour before they were expected on stage to not to give the talk, but the message wasn't seen until after the talk had ended.

Which said unnamed executive should have known was patently unreasonable to expect to be received and read in time.

Sounds like a failure in basic communication, somewhere in the organization. And if someone in the C-level feels they need to intervene at the last minute to set things straight -- this very strongly suggests point source of the failure was most likely somewhere in the middle layers (or at the C-level itself) - not with the frontline engineers.

But which at Salesforce is apparently no protection against getting hung out to dry.

Especially when we read the parts about "The talk had been months in the making" and that the executive pulled the plug at the last minute "despite a publicized and widely anticipated release."

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rsj_hn 1 day ago 8 replies      
I was not at the conference and have no first hand knowledge of what happened.

But before everyone gets on their high horse, please pause to reflect:

This was all company work product being presented by company employees who were on a company funded conference trip. Therefore there is an approval process for vetting presentations as well as a legal process for opensourcing code. This is standard practice at all companies.

Now what do you think is more likely: That the PR department would approve of a talk titled "meatpistol" (FIXED) (have you seen the slides?) and the legal dept would approve of open sourcing the code and then at the very last minute both groups would change their mind and try to pull the talk, or that the presenters never got the OK in the first place, the company found out at the last minute, asked them to pull the talk and they refused?

How likely is it that they would get official approval for their talk under a "Chatham's rules" meeting in February to for a presentation <strike>in August</strike>at the end of July? Isn't it more likely that they got some initial approval for a talk in February, but that PR still wanted to vet the actual slides in <strike>August</strike>July? (I'm assuming that the slides were made after February.) Which PR department gives approvals like that? What legal department works this way? In my experience, stuff like this happens at the last minute, because that's when you're finishing your slides (as well as your code), and generally PR is going to ask that you make some changes to your slides and they will want the final copy before signing off. Now maybe I'm wrong and the article is correct, but I think it's unlikely.

Moreover given that Salesforce can't talk about this matter, who do you think is the source for the article and whose side are you hearing?

The last few days have really highlighted how quick people are to pile on with outrage and self-righteous indignation before getting all the facts.

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tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's probably way too early for us to know what's really happened here. If you're unfamiliar with this stuff, you should know that Salesforce has a large and relatively savvy security team, including people who have presented at offensive security conferences in the past.

There's a lot of weirdness in the reporting here; for instance, the notion that Salesforce management had a meeting with members of their own team under "Chatham House rules".

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Johnny555 1 day ago 2 replies      
Seems like a bad idea for a public SaaS company that relies on trust from customers that their data is secure to piss off their own offensive security team by firing them suddenly without even a warning received.

I expect that lots new Salesforce vulnerabilities will be discovered and disclosed.

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djrogers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Much of the talk on this is about wether it not SFDC has a right to do this, or if its legal. Frankly thats all immaterial - this sounds like a perfect way to either lose most of your security staff over the next 6-8 months, or get yourself fired. Not sure the exec in question was planning on either of those outcomes, but they are the most likely.
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just2n 1 day ago 0 replies      
That seems like a tad bit of an overreaction on Salesforce's part. The only mismatch here was the expectation set around the availability of the tool's source? So yeah, it was clear the tool is owned by Salesforce and ultimately something like that is decided by the company, but saying you're going to "fight to have it open sourced" and advocating to have tooling you build be shared outside of your company doesn't seem like a fireable offense to me. Look at what it's done for companies like Facebook and Google.

What the hell, Salesforce? This looks bad. There's either more to the story or this is just extreme knee jerk.

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whatsmyhandle 1 day ago 1 reply      
EEK. When speaking in front of a large audience, it's generally a good idea to either mute your phone, or ditch it entirely before you get up onstage.

To get canned for not responding to a text message 30 minutes before a talk - which you were already approved for - seems terribly unfair and a decision probably made in the heat of the moment.

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soft_serve 1 day ago 3 replies      
Most people at Defcon use a "burner phone" (a cheap supermarket feature-phone) while there. Nobody who is sane would turn on their work phone anywhere near the Defcon conference. I go there every year with a throwaway phone and laptop.

So nobody will see a text message in a timely manner, unless they knew the burner phone number.

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0xfeeddeadbeef 1 day ago 2 replies      
Oh, the irony! Months before he was fired, in his talk [1] at QCon London 2017 (March 5-7), Josh Schwartz jokingly said: "I am going to tell some stories and hopefully I won't get fired for sharing this stuff but we'll see how it goes".

[1] How to Backdoor Invulnerable Code: https://youtu.be/EGshffkzZsY?t=680

6
DeepMind and Blizzard Open StarCraft II as an AI Research Environment deepmind.com
592 points by nijynot  1 day ago   268 comments top 20
1
qub1t 1 day ago 11 replies      
A lot of people here seem to be underestimating the difficulty of this problem. There are several incorrect comments saying that in SC1 AIs have already been able to beat professionals - right now they are nowhere near that level.

Go is a discrete game where the game state is 100% known at all times. Starcraft is a continuous game and the game state is not 100% known at any given time.

This alone makes it a much harder problem than go. Not to mention that the game itself is more complex, in the sense that go, despite being a very hard game for humans to master, is composed of a few very simple and well defined rules. Starcraft is much more open-ended, has many more rules, and as a result its much harder to build a representation of game state that is conducive to effective deep learning.

I do think that eventually we will get an AI that can beat humans, but it will be a non-trivial problem to solve, and it may take some time to get there. I think a big component is not really machine learning but more related to how to represent state at any given time, which will necessarily involve a lot of human-tweaking of distilling down what really are the important things that influence winning.

2
JefeChulo 1 day ago 8 replies      
"so agents must interact with the game within limits of human dexterity in terms of Actions Per Minute."

I am really glad they are limiting APM because otherwise things just get stupid.

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dpflan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Related: Today I learned that a group of AI researchers has released a paper called: STARDATA: A StarCraft AI Research Dataset. According to one of the authors: "We're releasing a dataset of 65k StarCraft: Brood War games, 1.5b frames, 500m actions, 400GB of data. Check it out!"

> Article: https://arxiv.org/abs/1708.02139

> Github: https://github.com/TorchCraft/StarData

4
siegecraft 1 day ago 3 replies      
The API Blizzard is exposing is really nice. Sadly most of the advantages AI had in SC1 were just due to the fact that an automated process could micro-manage the tasks the game didn't automate for you (a lot of boring, repetitive work). SC2 got rid of a lot of that while still allowing room for innovative and overpowered tactics to be discovered (MarineKing's insane marine micro, SlayerS killing everyone with blue flame hellions, some more recent stuff I'm sure from the newest expansions). Hopefully the API lets AIs converge on optimal resource management and get to exploring new and innovative timings, transitions, army makeups, etc.
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hitekker 1 day ago 7 replies      
This seems all in good fun but I wonder if it's come too late.

Starcraft 2 is at its twilight.

The biggest leagues of South Korea have disbanded. [1] The prolific progamers who transitioned to Starcraft 2 have gone back to Broodwar. [2]

Blizzard itself has scrubbed all references to Starcraft 2 on the very home page of Starcraft. [3] Except for the twitter embed, it has only only one "2" character... in the copyright statement.

My take is that the future for the Starcraft franchise will be through remastered and potential expansion packs following it.

Starcraft 2 had a good run but, with the entire RTS genre stagnating [4], I don't think Blizzard wants to bet on anything less than the top horse.

[1] https://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/10/the-end-of-an-era-for-star...

[2] http://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/18935988/starcraft-br...

[3] http://starcraft.com

[4]http://www.pcgamer.com/the-decline-evolution-and-future-of-t... (Aside from MOBAs)

6
SiempreZeus 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's a bit too bad they're having to move towards supervised learning and imitation learning.

I totally understand why they need to do that given the insane decision trees, but I was really hoping to see what the AI would learn to do without any human example, simply because it would be inhuman and interesting.

I'm really interested in particular if an unsupervised AI would use very strange building placements and permanently moving ungrouped units.

One thing that struck me in the video was the really actively weird mining techniques in one clip and then another clip where it blocked its mineral line with 3 raised depots...

7
arcanus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I also want to see the algorithm win on unorthodox maps. Perhaps a map they have never seen before, or one where the map is the same as before but the resources have moved.

Don't tell the player or the algorithm this, and see how both react, and adapt. This tells us a great deal about the resiliency of abilities.

8
ktRolster 1 day ago 5 replies      
When Watson won at Jeopardy, one of its prime advantages was the faster reaction time at pushing the buzzer. The fairness of that has already been hashed out elsewhere, but.....

We already know that computers can have superior micro and beat humans at Starcraft through that(1). Is DeepMind going to win by giving themselves a micro advantage that is beyond what reasonable humans can do?

(1)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKVFZ28ybQs as one example

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krasi0 1 day ago 1 reply      
The StarCraft 1 BroodWar AI scene has been thriving for a few years now: https://sscaitournament.com/ You can watch 24/7 live AI vs AI games on Twitch at: https://www.twitch.tv/sscaitSupport for voting on who to play next and even a betting system are in place, too. For those who wish to get their feet wet with BW AI development, here are the Java / C++ tutorials: https://sscaitournament.com/index.php?action=tutorial
10
daemonk 1 day ago 2 replies      
Blizzard should put in an AI-assisted play mode where players are limited to X lines of code that can be launched with keyboard commands.
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arnioxux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are there any known arbitrary code injection for starcraft? Like how you can use a regular controller to reprogram super mario world to play pong?

https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/1v5mqg/using_b...

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Arbitrary_code_execu...

Is this how we are going to accidentally let AGI loose into the world!? /s

On a more realistic note I think this will degenerate into a game of who can fuzz test for the best game breaking glitch. Think of all the programming bugs that turned into game mechanics in BW that we haven't discovered for SC2 yet: http://www.codeofhonor.com/blog/the-starcraft-path-finding-h...

12
Lambent 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not like this is going to create fantastic AI.

Keep in mind there's been an amateur AI project for broodwar for almost 7 years now. Even after such a long learning period, the games are very primitive, and the AI's still couldn't pose a threat to even a beginner human player. Sometimes the games take hours. Trying to build strategy and decision making into an AI is incredibly complicated. There have been teams working at the SSCAIT for many years now, and the product is still fairly primitive.

So what CA did was instead write up a simpler AI that mimics strategy and decision making. We all know it's not great, but I'd be really skeptical that 3rd parties would magically create an AI that can think strategically.

13
convefefe 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought this was already happening. Right after AlphaGo beat Lee, I remember hearing about it. Did they give up on having their AI playing SC2? I wondered if that would work, since it seemed to take turns in Go at the same speed as a normal player, I wondered if it was trying to compute the most likely winning move each turn and the late game implications of those moves. If it tried that in a fast paced game how it would deal with the speed. It obviously would need to develop a pattern of pre-baked strategies that would win it the game. Would it play the same build every round or would it realize that changing things up each match wins it more games?
14
Companion 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a bit too bad they're having to move towards supervised learning and imitation learning.

I totally understand why they need to do that given the insane decision trees, but I was really hoping to see what the AI would learn to do without any human example, simply because it would be inhuman and interesting.

I'm really interested in particular if an unsupervised AI would use very strange building placements and permanently moving ungrouped units.

One thing that struck me in the video was the really actively weird mining techniques in one clip and then another clip where it blocked its mineral line with 3 raised depots...

15
siliconc0w 1 day ago 0 replies      
The SCAI bots I've seen are more hardcoded tactics engines rather than machine learning models. They're still impressive, but their logic isn't quite 'learned' it's hand coded which is a crucial difference.
16
Outrageous 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Novice here: I really want to try this Starcraft API but I don't know how to start. I believe this uses more reinforcement learning and agent-based models (which honestly I am not familiar with yet) What are good papers to get started on this?
17
Havoc 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's surprising. I thought Bliz didn't want anyone near sc2 but approved of sc1 being used for this purpose.
18
hacker_9 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's something funny about a company that is actively developing bleeding edge AI technology, but who can't design a webpage that works on mobile without crashing.
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Ntrails 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd be really interested in how differently tiered data sets (ladder rank) would work as sources for teaching.

Is it possible that training on diamond players is less effective than training on, say, silver? Is that actually even an interesting thing to look at?

20
ipnon 1 day ago 3 replies      
Any predictions for how long it will take for an AI to win against the world's best player?
7
Benchmark Capital Sues Travis Kalanick for Fraud axios.com
452 points by bobsky  19 hours ago   172 comments top 22
1
throwawy11111 18 hours ago 6 replies      
Benchmarks in a bind and at war with travis; they need to liquidate their stake in next year or two. Softbank deal to buy out their shares fell apart in part b/c no CEO. Benchmark wants safe-hands leader who will cost-cut firesale their way to quick IPO. travis + allies being more long term; blocking benchmarks CEO picks (meg). so board civil war continues with benchmarks dirty tricks like this sour grapes lawsuit and selective leaks to undercut and force mgmt's hand in cost cuts (the lease car data earlier this week)
2
aresant 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Among the complaints of bad behavior:

"Kalanick [aquired] a self-driving startup that, according to a confidential report not disclosed to Benchmark (the "Stroz report") allegedly harbored trade secrets from a competitor . . . "

The Stroz Report was created when "Otto and Uber jointly hired an outside forensic expert Stroz Friedman. Friedman interviewed employees, including Levandowski and Lior Ron, reviewed their digital devices like mobile phones and cloud storage, and prepared a report recording the results of the investigation. . . Uber dangled a huge carrot for Levandowski to be truthful . . and agreed to indemnify him for any prior bad acts he confessed to committing. In other words, if Levandowski told Stroz what he stole, then the high priests at Uber have absolved him of his civil sins and Uber will pay for any resulting lawsuits or penalties"(1)

Maybe I'm reading between the lines, but it seems like they're saying in black & white that the Stroz report contains incriminating evidence that Levandowski DID "harbor trade secrets" from Google which will materially impact the outcome of Ubers broader legal woes . . .

EDIT - Reading further in the actual complaint ""if the contents of Stroz's interim findings had been disclosed to Benchmark at the time, they would have had a material impact on Benchmark's decision to authorize the board seats . . ." (2)

Sounds quite a bit like a smoking gun, that Benchmark probably realizes now is going to come to light.

(1) https://medium.com/@nikhilgabraham/why-anthony-levandowski-h...

(2) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3922911-67730336-DE-...

3
rmason 19 hours ago 6 replies      
If actual fraud is not found what sort of message does this send to entrepreneurs that Benchmark is founder friendly?

Looks like a grudge match to me. Apparently unhappy with merely removing Travis from the CEO's chair they want to make certain he's never allowed to ever enter the building.

4
whack 19 hours ago 2 replies      
The key point of conflict appears to be the following:

The suit revolves around the June 2016 decision to expand the size of Uber's board of voting directors from eight to 11, with Kalanick having the sole right to designate those seats. Kalanick would later name himself to one of those seats following his resignation, since his prior board seat was reserved for the company's CEO. The other two seats remain unfilled. Benchmark argues that it never would have granted Kalanick those three extra seats had it known about his "gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber"

I never understood this practice of investors/founders having such wide discretion when it comes to controlling board seats. It always seemed to me that board representation should be roughly proportional to equity ownership. If a founder/VC controls 30% of the equity, he should be given control over ~30% of the board seats. Such an arrangement seems like the best way to ensure that incentives are aligned, and to prevent drama/shenanigans like whatever led to this suit.

5
WisNorCan 13 hours ago 4 replies      
It's interesting to see how all the chaos at the board and management level has affected employees. Data from LinkedIn paints a troubling picture both in terms of hiring and retention.

* Uber has 31,537 employees as of August 2017.

* New hiring is down from 1000 per month in 2016 to 500 a month in 2017. July was the lowest month since the start of LinkedIn data which is August 2015 @ 440 hires.

* There are currently 8,000 job openings. Operations and Engineering are the two largest categories.

* With every 100 people that are hired. ~80 people are departing the company.

Hiring managers I have talked to say that it is very challenging to attract strong candidates to Uber and it is demoralizing because their best people are leaving.

6
sillysaurus3 19 hours ago 5 replies      
Stakes: Per the complaint, Kalanick currently holds around a 10% equity stake in Uber, which most recently was valued at around $70 billion. Benchmark holds approximately 13 percent.

This is interesting. I thought HNers were saying Kalanick had the biggest stake, which is why the board couldn't fire him.

How does this work? If someone only has 10% equity, why was it so difficult to remove them? This is a useful tool for founders, so it's worth understanding.

7
8
nthcolumn 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Before Travis got booted some Techcrunch article or other was submitted here on an almost daily basis about him and other issues Uber were having, some days two! I thought to myself: 'Boy! Techcrunch really have it in for Uber and Travis' (mit einen kleine schadenfreude, me being no fan of either). Once he left though, the posts seemed to me to end rather abruptly even though there were still newsworthy shenanigans at Uber. Has anyone else noticed this? Why? Cui bono?
9
tareqak 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Techmeme summary: Benchmark Capital sues Travis Kalanick for fraud, wants invalidation of the June 2016 stockholder vote to expand board, which would also remove him from board
10
tmh79 19 hours ago 2 replies      
wonder what this means for the CEO search, softbank funding etc. My assumption is that both parties will settle quickly but I could be wrong. Also not noted in the article is that while travis owns 10% of the equity stake, he has super-voting shares, such that him, Ryan Graves, and Garret Camp as a trifecta hold controlling interest IIRC.
11
featherverse 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As an aside.. the dude's face on the TechCrunch article about this is heartwrenching, if you stare at it long enough.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/10/benchmark-sues-former-uber...

12
imsofuture 18 hours ago 1 reply      
So the board agreed to create 3 new board seats over which Kalanick would explicitly have full control to appoint people. And now they're suing him because they regret that?
13
sjg007 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Uber should IPO unless they are waiting until they decimate traditional taxis but I don't see that happening in key markets. They could buy up medallions on the sly though. Economically, Amazon loses money in expansion and they have no real competitors online so I don't see why uber can't do the same.
14
gavanwoolery 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I do not know Travis well enough to say if he is a "good" or "bad" person but playing devil's advocate for a second: is it really a crime to organize a board in your favor? I imagine this is done all the time.
15
zxcvvcxz 16 hours ago 1 reply      
> Benchmark argues that it never would have granted Kalanick those three extra seats had it known about his "gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber"

Buyer's remorse! Investors think they deserve so much power because they put capital upfront and understand how to play the legal system to their benefit, while more industrious actors are busy actually building the value of the company.

Yeah and I can tell the folks at Benchmark about a bunch of guys I knew who wish they never would've gotten married. Oh well, when you take your vows... Till death do you part ;)

16
pfarnsworth 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Who in their right mind, except for the utterly desperate, would accept money from Benchmark? Talk about letting the fox into the henhouse, you can't trust those guys whatsoever.
17
thebmax 19 hours ago 5 replies      
Agreed. Fuck Benchmark. Travis makes each partner $1 billion personally and this is how they treat him? They should be blackballed by every great founder out there. I had respect for benchmark but not anymore. They are greedy assholes.
18
PhantomGremlin 19 hours ago 4 replies      
In my best Nelson Muntz voice: "Ha-ha".

The VCs have done this to themselves. They put up all the money, they should have never allowed themselves to be put into this situation.

Decades ago, when I was at startups, this was 100% clear, cut and dried. The Golden Rule. People who have the gold make the rules.

I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion, since more HN readers are founders and employees than are VCs. But don't simply downvote. Explain. Articulate why, after taking billions of dollars in VC money, you feel like you're still owed control.

19
desireco42 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know about this infighting, but don't you think that someone like Meg Whitman would suck badly at being Uber CEO, not that she did wonders at HP. If anyone has opinion, I would be interested to hear.
20
revelation 19 hours ago 1 reply      
There is nothing new here other than Benchmark Capital thinking they can choose and pick a shareholder decision to revert based on the recent Uber gates.

Seems very thin on the ground given there is no ruling in a court of law against Kalanick in any of those.

21
baccheion 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Uber, AirBnb, Snapchat, Dropbox, etc will all crumble. They may continue to exist, but they'll be more like Twitter than Facebook. None of them are anything special.

Maybe Dropbox will get acquired after their failed IPO. Snapchat could also get filed away in a similar fashion, but it may be too late.

I wonder why they invested so much in a taxi company. It only makes sense if all cars are replaced with Uber autonomous vehicles, but what are the odds that will happen? Uber only makes sense in larger cities.

The "brain" trust may as well get started on teleportation or something else deserving of billions in blind/naive/"stupid" faith.

Is this the mobile bubble forming and collapsing live? As suggested by historical timings (8 <= year_ipod - year_founded <= 12), IPOs for all "big bets" should technically happen within the next year. I strongly doubt it's going to be pretty.

22
sergefaguet 1 hour ago 0 replies      
will never, ever talk with Benchmark for any fundraising again. suing the CEO who made them ~ten billion dollars. what the actual fuck.
8
Outraged about the Google diversity memo? backreaction.blogspot.com
558 points by rice_otaku  1 day ago   782 comments top 3
1
kromem 1 day ago 4 replies      
An interesting anecdote regarding gender bias and tech.

In the very early stage of my company, we wanted to outsource some UX work. After an exhausting review of applicants on one of the freelance sites out there, we finally settled on a Pakistani woman who had the best balance of portfolio vs cost.

At the initial Skype call, there was no video. And it turned out to be a guy speaking in a very high voice. We didn't really care and just went along with it (after a call or two he dropped his octave significantly, but everything continued with the original female name). But it was curious that this enterprising individual decided that the best way to stand out from the countless other developers with similar demographics he was competing against was to pretend to be a woman.

I do suspect that the presumed bias that women aren't actually as skilled and got where they are because of gender preference, while an uncomfortable bias for women, does make it so that a woman with equal skill to a male candidate is perceived as a greater rarity/find because "oh wow, this one is legit." (Not saying women are actually less likely to be legit, just saying the perception that is true can work to board in the opposite direction). I'd be extremely curious to see the classic "attach picture to resume/work sample" experiment done for tech with actual hiring managers. I'd be very surprised if the work with the female photo has a lower net score than the male photo across the experimental groups.

2
jernfrost 1 day ago 6 replies      
Great perspective. As a Northern European having dealt with American company ownership I don't think the main problem in Google's case was political correctness but rather a general American problem with how free speech is defined in the US. Freedom in America is always about government NOT doing something, while in Europe government is defined as a protector of these freedoms. This shows up clearly with respect to stating an opinion at a US company. There is no protection of free speech on private property in the US. I first encountered this when out company got bought by an American one and they i sisted that religion and politics should not be discussed at work. It surprised them that such a demand was illegal in Norway. Private property does not trumph everything else as it often seems to do in the US.

While americans are free to utter quite inflamatory speech in the public, I find that American culture seems to discourage any sort of controversial topic in polite company.

That applies to conservatives and liberals alike in the US. Discussing religion among conservatives in the US seems taboo. While liberals are not very open to having PC opinions challenged.

3
Const-me 1 day ago 24 replies      
IMO the best comment from there:

Giulio Prisco said...The results of this incident are easy to predict.

Now everyone at Google (and everyone in large tech companies, and everyone in academy) knows that they can be fired for expressing opinions that dissent from the party line.

Of course they'll shut up for fear of losing their job and the means to support their family.

But they won't change their position. If anything, their position will be radicalized. For example, from classical liberal to alt-right.

Yes, they'll stop expressing their opinion in public. But they'll express their opinion, with a vengeance, in the only place where one can do so in secrecy without fear of witch-hunting mobs: the voting booth.

Yes, that explains Trump.

9
A rising sentiment that IBMs Watson cant deliver on its promises gizmodo.com
464 points by artsandsci  1 day ago   249 comments top 39
1
filereaper 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm quite late to this thread, but I worked on Watson very briefly (not on the core development, but overall system performance improvements).

I think there's a major misunderstanding of Watson which isn't helped by IBM's Marketing efforts. IBM Marketing has been slapping the "Cognitive" label on everything and is creating unrealistic expectations.

The Jeopardy playing Watson (DeepQA pipeline) was a landmark success at Information Retrieval, its architecture is built largely on Apache UIMA and Lucene with proprietary code for scaling out (performance) and filtering & ranking. I'm not an expert on IR so I won't comment further. This is very different from Neural Nets that are all the rage in ML today.

I'd like to point the following links from David Ferrucci [1] the original architect of Watson and this technical publication at aaai.org [2].

The DeepQA pipeline wasn't fluff, the intention was to take this question-answer pipeline and apply it to other verticals such as Law and Medicine, essentially replace the Jeopardy playing Watson's corpus of Wikipedia, Britannica etc... with Legal and Medical equivalents.

Given its runaway PR success, the Watson brand was applied to many other areas which haven't been successful but I'd like to point out what the original product was here.

[1] https://www.singularityweblog.com/david-ferrucci-on-singular...[2] https://www.aaai.org/Magazine/Watson/watson.php

2
ChuckMcM 23 hours ago 5 replies      
When I worked at IBM I expressed concern that the television commercials depicting a HAL9000 level interactive dialog system were dangerously overselling what Watson could do.

The challenge, as I saw it, was that no matter how good the tools and products that were used to help companies with data analysis to improve their operations were, when they realize they can't talk to a cube and joke with it about misusing colloquial phrases their disappointment overshadows all the 'good' stuff it was doing for them.

No relationship works well if it starts with a lie and as this article shows, people do take those ads at face value and assume there really is a talking AI inside of IBM. Then they are hugely disappointed when they find out it doesn't exist.

3
tangue 1 day ago 4 replies      
Crdit Mutuel (a french bank) has adopted Watson [0] and it's not encouraging : it was supposed to help answering emails, : they had to describe manually the concepts in emails and create topics in which looks a lot like decision-trees (and reminds me of this 1985 ad for Texas Instrument's Lisp AI https://www.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/blog/File/De... scroll to see the ad)

Indeed the whole thing looks like a database with basic AI as a sales argument...

[0 - in french] http://www.silicon.fr/credit-mutuel-non-ia-watson-magique-17...

4
laichzeit0 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I had problems with Watson to the effect that not even the documentation matches reality. There are some fairly basic things missing from their NERC offering. I can tell you that the functionality that is missing is so basic (e.g. negation) that without a doubt, no one in IBM has ever used this offering in practise beyond a toy example.

The idea that IBM Watson is some uniform AI in a box with a bunch of REST API's to "expose" its intelligence seems to be the sales pitch. It's not. It's just a bunch of acquired products (you can see this when e.g. Watson Knowledge Studio breaks and you see the Python scripts that glues everything together in the backend) that are poorly integrated, probably because the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.

Caveat emptor!

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/44796501/ibm-watson-know...https://stackoverflow.com/questions/44800879/ibm-watson-know...

5
slackingoff2017 23 hours ago 6 replies      
IBM is a dying giant, I've seen it languishing for years. Their massive screw up was a decade ago when they decided shareholder value was more important than having good engineers. They've since gutted their R&D departments and all that's left are duds and underpaid undereducated consultants rented from places like Accenture.

The only good thing to come out of IBM in years is their Hyperscan regex library and unsurprisingly they don't market it at all or build practical applications with it

6
notfromhere 1 day ago 1 reply      
The dirty secret is that IBM Watson is just a brand for their army of data consultants, and their consultants aren't very good. In my experience working for a competitor in this space, IBM Watson was widely agreed to be smoke and mirrors without much going on
7
peteretep 1 day ago 4 replies      
A couple of years ago I was given a project that was essentially "Evaluate Watson APIs to see if there's anything there we could make use of", and came away with the distinct impression that it was largely smoke and mirrors, and there was very little that was either effective or interesting there.
8
blueyes 23 hours ago 2 replies      
IBM has almost zero credibility in deep learning and AI. They haven't hired anyone of note. They haven't produced any novel or influential research in the field in years. And yet they air these cheesy Dylan ads and the rubes fall for it. Watson is a Theranos-scale fraud, and it's finally coming out.
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chisleu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm late but have something to add.

Until last week I was on a 6 month contract as a senior DevOps engineer for IBM/Watson. I was responsible for one of the huge real-time data ingestion pipelines that Watson receives. I left to work elsewhere in spite of being offered an excellent position. (If you guys are reading this, hi.)

I went to IBM not expecting much more than working as a cog in a lumbering giant.

Watson is the fastest growing part of IBM. If IBM has all of those eggs in one basket, it is the Watson basket. There were lots of jokes about cognitive in the office pool.

That said, it was by far one of the best managed companies I've seen. They have some fantastic data engineers and scientists. They are backing most of the open source projects related to AI and next generation tech. Spark, VoltDB...

The ads might seem sensational, but the concept of a black box that orders preemptive maintenance for an elevator isn't far fetched...

More over, Watson had so many current customers because it is valuable. The technical advisors that but products don't put faith in ads any more than we do.

10
throwaway_ibm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know someone who is intimately involved with IBM Watson, they are highly educated and constantly diss the system. Calling it, 'Just a large database'. If Watson was a true breakthrough, it should be gaining marketshare throughout it's specialities but it's not. Google is leading the industry with DeepMind; Facebook and Microsoft aren't far behind. I'd encourage others to be very skeptical of the PR that IBM is pushing about their Watson problem.

disclosure: I haven't read the article but wanted to share a related story.

11
ams6110 1 day ago 0 replies      
What? A brand name which is just a word meaning "IBM Enterprise Products and Services" doesn't really live up to the marketing hype? I can't imagine such a thing.
12
strict9 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many years ago when I worked for a company that decided our existing ecommerce app was too terrible to fix and would be too much effort to rebuild, we talked to a number of vendors, including IBM. The marketing materials and salespeople made a compelling case, but deeper dives into the app itself and the support engineers behind it convinced even the most enthusiastic internal cheerleaders to look elsewhere.

In recent years as news articles heralding the future of Watson for various industries (including healthcare and supply chain), I predicted a similar path. An amazing product in a very narrow environment designed specifically for marketing and selling purposes, and not very adaptable.

FTA: And everybodys very happy to claim to work with Watson, Perlich said. So I think right now Watson is monetizing primarily on the brand perception.

This is painfully obvious, as this has been IBM for a very long time.

13
jjm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
They had so much time to contribute but instead chose marketing and pushed into areas where they didn't really have a handle on yet. As in management didn't understand.

I mean all the datasets, dozens of libraries, stunning NN demos and training sets, TPUs (multiple versions at that!) all could've come out of the company.

Think if keras and tensor flow were from IBM. Or all those cars now running Nvidia Jetson, or mega datacenters running NV100s or Google TPUs.

Shoot they even had a chance to enhance PowerPC ICs for NNs.

Alas but nope.

14
scottlocklin 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah, well, "duh."What boggles my mind is people will read this, nod sadly, and continue not to notice that a whole bunch of what they think they know about machine learning, autonomous vehicles and so on is also marketing department hype.
15
megamindbrian 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Everything to do with IBM is too expensive for the average user.
16
simonh 23 hours ago 2 replies      
This just goes to show just how tragically far away we are from even beginning to build the rudiments of a strong general purpose AI. For all the fantastic achievements of systems like Watson and Alphago, and they are amazing achievements, they are radically optimised special purpose systems fine tuned to solving one extremely specific and narrow problem, and that problem only.

Watson is a case study in this, but I know Google has big plans for applying the tech behind Alphago in medicine. I wish them every success, but I'm concerned they will hit similar specialisation issues.

17
dpflan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like how IBM does very elaborate marketing ploys to hype their wares: like Deep Blue competing against Kasparov and Watson competing against Jennings to showcase IBM's engineering prowess. But it does sell the idea pretty well I think, but perhaps the idea is too grand/far ahead of the present.
18
speeder 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I actually love the idea of Watson being used for healthcare...

Sadly I think it is being used wrong...

IBM is focusing on using Watson to cure very specific diseases, like certain types of cancer.

I think a far better use for Watson would be to do initial diagnosis, for example my life got massively delayed because I got hypothyroidism as teenager, but only using internet data I could self-diagnose and self-treat (because doctors are still unwilling to help, not trusting data, and before someone come berate me for self-treatment, it is working...) as adult I could finally get my life 'started' (hypothyroidism affect physical and mental development, and slows down metabolism and the brain)

During my quest I met many, many, many people on internet, that had self-diagnosed with something using the internet as a tool. All of us would have been diagnosed properly if Watson was being used on the doctors office, using its data crunching capabilities and symptoms as input to find out what problem we had. (in my case: I have Hashimoto's disease)

19
ghostly_s 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I overheard a good-'ol-boy businessman at a hotel bar a few months back. He bore an eerie likeness to Bosworth from Halt and Catch Fire, and was telling a younger gentleman about a project he worked on. "...so Watson comes in and they Algorithm the whole thing..."

I'm pretty sure he thought Watson was a person.

20
Probooks 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Problem is deeper (and simpler). IBM does not look for clients, but rather victims. We clients end up being caught in an internal upsales fight. Nobody cares which is the best solution IBM as a whole can offer to you (their own people do not even know all their available tools!), but rather how much suboptimal stuff each salesman can load onto you. I'm on my way out of IBM...
21
dislikes_IBM 21 hours ago 2 replies      
IBM has a toxic culture. They are the vendor lock-in Gods. Every company I've ever worked for has cringed at the mention of IBM, never suggested them as a new solution, and always regretted whatever if anything they locked themselves into.

They are the only company that charges you to sample their API's. They are the absolute worst, an infection that needs to be cured.

22
tCfD 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Obvious fix is for IBM to put Watson on a blockchain /s
23
crsv 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Replace IBM's Watson with anything branded with "AI" right now and themes in the article still hold up.
24
batmansmk 1 day ago 4 replies      
You can try by yourself. https://alchemy-language-demo.mybluemix.net/

Imagine analyzing product reviews to determine if it was positive or negative.Type "I like it", and see the inaccurate targeted sentiment (neutral sentiment instead of positive).

25
ExactoKnight 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Watson's Natural Language Classifier, in particular its categorization API, is actually pretty impressive...
26
etiam 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It's tempting to start whispering winter is coming, but I think one may reasonably hope that the current fashions at large have enough nuance to differentiate between this particular marketing gimmick and the broader developments in ML.

Personally I'd be happy to see the paragraphs/minutes at the beginning of far too many interviews about "intelligent" machines exchanged, from straightening out the misconception that Watson is an example of this new hot "Deep Learning" thing and one of the pinnacles of achievement in the field, for some type of more valuable type of commentary from leading researchers.

27
dboreham 1 day ago 4 replies      
Bundle up for the second AI Winter...
28
outside1234 1 day ago 0 replies      
You don't say! This is IBM consulting ware? Who would have guessed!
29
et2o 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I saw a very humorous twitter exchange between a bioinformatician and IBM Watson's twitter account. The scientist asked them to provide any peer-reviewed ML publications and the best they could do was an abstract at a regional conference no-one has heard of. And it was a terrible abstract.

It's completely marketing. IBM still has a good name among people who don't know much about technology. They're trading on this and the current saturation of 'machine learning' in the popular press.

30
currymj 1 day ago 0 replies      
it's just a brand name at this point, which they attach to any machine learning they develop or acquire, and they should stop trying to sell it as a distinct technology.
31
ceedan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does IBM itself even "use" Watson?
32
PaulHoule 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This was my opinion when they started running these ads. My opinion has actually softened a little.

Some of the cognitive services they are offering today are not half bad; also I can say their salespeople are doing a gangbusters job in places.

33
diego_moita 23 hours ago 1 reply      
> "In the data-science community the sense is that whatever Watson can do, you can probably get as freeware somewhere, or possibly build yourself with your own knowledge"

Any suggestions about the freeware?

34
d--b 22 hours ago 0 replies      
watson's mistake is to have gone the chat bot route. promising a natural language input for all underlying problems simply discredits everything else...
35
moomin 1 day ago 3 replies      
Completely off topic, but didn't IBM have a system called Watson in the 1990s that was used by the police? Try as I might I can't find a reference for it anywhere.
36
riku_iki 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Any first firings for choosing IBM?..
37
iamleppert 1 day ago 2 replies      
The real crime is in using cancer kids to sell your product. I mean, who even does that? Even if you could cure cancer for kids, I find it incredibly tacky to go around making commercials about how you can cure cancer for kids, which aren't targeted at those who actually are in the position to use the technology, and its used to market to other tangential industries where the real money is. It's just despicable and you can tell right there its smoke and mirrors.

There's a special place in hell for anyone working at IBM or involved in the Watson project who is supporting this thing. It's damaging legitimate deep learning/machine learning industry and generally making a fool out of IBM, AND giving children with cancer false hope....just so IBM can try and stay relevant and make money?

38
potatoman2 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Did they really need to stick an insult at Trump in there?
39
oculusthrift 1 day ago 0 replies      
the articles content is more just background about watson than having to do with the the title.

as a side note: it just sounds wrong to have the words "hating on" in an article title.

10
The Kolmogorov option scottaaronson.com
513 points by apsec112  2 days ago   454 comments top 2
1
habitue 2 days ago 13 replies      
Let's say this is about the Google memo. And let's say, for the sake of argument, you're a person who thinks Damore had some good points and some bad points but you think the hysterically censorious response to him was way over the line. But you don't want to become a pariah yourself, so you stay quiet about it. The argument Damore was making was fiddly, kind of subtle and takes a long time to explain, it's not worth the trouble you're going to get into. You take the Kolmogorov option and decide to wait out this insane time period.

Only it turns out, when you don't decide to argue for that subtle and qualified defense of Damore, a bunch of alt-right internet trolls make some terrible fallacious defenses of things he didn't say. Suddenly, the original censorious instincts seem much more righteous and justified. After all, "Now there are only full-throated red-pillers arguing in Damore's defense! We were right all along!"

Now there are two sides to this issue, and they're both identity politics and brain-dead shouting. Because no one stopped and offered a third option: actually discussing his argument, acknowledging where he was right, and discussing what he got wrong.

2
tpeo 2 days ago 6 replies      
Besides ideological self-righteousness, Aaronson left out one important component of oppressive regimes, which I think is actually far more important: it takes a relatively large amount of people to topple a regime, while small groups as well as individuals do nothing but expose themselves by rebelling. So no individual with any regard for his own personal safety has any incentive to rebel, and will instead go along with the flow for as long as it's tolerable to him.

But this, on the other hand, would create an odd situation where actually the vast majority of people might actually wish for rebellion, but none of them actually acts out on that wish. Which I also think is actually much more likelier than what he's putting forward. True crusaders are rare, most of people are "just following orders".

11
Benefits of a Lifestyle Business bugfender.com
398 points by adchsm  1 day ago   252 comments top 35
1
weeksie 1 day ago 9 replies      
Sure! Lifestyle businesses are great, and so is the whole digital nomad thing (I spent all of 2016 and a good chunk of 2015 traveling around the world).

There are a ton of upsides but I wouldn't go back to it full time. For one, it's surprising how few of the digital nomad types are really that interesting, and while integrating with local populations is fun, you'll still find yourself missing the familiarity of people from your own culture (or similar, Western cultures, assuming you're a Euro or American)

Once you get used to life on the road it's grand. Still, nomad nests like Chiang Mai are insipid and full of scores of people hustling their drop ship schemes. More power to them, but it's just not my vibe.

I dunno. Go nuts, travel, see a bunch of shit, just don't assume the beach is going to be as stimulating as the (very likely) metro urban environment you're living in now.

2
sevensor 1 day ago 4 replies      
Your chosen lifestyle doesn't have to involve sea voyages in Southeast Asia or weeklong ski excursions. It could also be living in a medium-sized town in Flyover Country, U.S.A., working 40 hour weeks on interesting problems and spending lots of time with your spouse and children. If you've ever looked around at your Logan's Run coworkers and wondered what happens when you turn 30, here's one of your answers.
3
AndrewKemendo 1 day ago 8 replies      
Is there some reason that people keep making the case for creating a standard business that supports one or two people? These types of posts have been pretty consistent over the years: "Take control of your life with a small business" "You don't need to make a massive company to be happy" etc...

I never see articles that encourage: "Here's why you should dedicate your life to starting a company and try to dominate an industry." It's like these posts are fighting against a boogeyman that isn't there.

I think 99% of all small businesses are "lifestyle businesses" where the founders aren't trying to build a market dominating billion dollar company. So who are these articles target to?

Is it simply the amount of press that surrounds VC and hyperscale companies that these folks are rejecting? I don't think any VC or founder has ever claimed that the only way to be happy/make money/do good is by trying to create a massive market dominating company.

4
wanderings 1 day ago 3 replies      
Lifestyle business beats a startup, until it doesn't. I'm the example. Ran a category leading website for years until I was demolished by a fully focused bad ass team and thrown out of my leadership position. Ultimately, I was forced to sell out at a much lower valuation than I'd have if I were totally focused. It could vary on niche and industry. But one can't generalize it one way or the other. If you have a great position in a big sector and you don't go for the kill, someone else will and your lifestyle business would be likely chewed up by competition. If it's a business with an intrinsic moat(think a retail store in small tourist town), it's likely to sustain. Take frequent breaks while running a bad ass startup, but don't for a while think that you can let the ball drop.
5
k__ 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can we please stop calling regular businesses "lifestyle business", like it's some hobby for people who don't want to work in a " real" startup?!
6
ArmandGrillet 1 day ago 2 replies      
"A good lifestyle business could even be turned into a multi-million dollar company, if thats what you want.": I've stopped reading there, I don't understand how articles that empty can arrive on top of HN. These questions (where to work? On what? How much?) get way better answers in "Ask HN" threads, articles coming from nowhere with a topbar selling me something are really not making me dream anymore.
7
boyce 1 day ago 2 replies      
This digital nomad thing just looks hellish to me. Maybe I'm getting old.

Can't imagine being somewhere nice but glued to a laptop, or getting anything useful done without reliable wifi etc, or being part of a team where the boss has gone on holiday but still showing up in slack etc.

I'd hate to feel like I wasn't part of the team for not getting our kids together or not wanting to holiday or spend a day off with colleagues. I'm not impressed by instagram or medium posts from perfect looking beaches giving business advice.

Not sure when a lifestyle business went from being a business that fits around your lifestyle to making the appearance of living an idealised lifestyle everybody else's business.

8
miheermunjal 1 day ago 3 replies      
I... I feel I can't believe the company has 1) top salary, 2) top benefits 3) unlimited travel 4) work remote 5) top enterprise clients 6) small teams 7) work as much as you want?

either someone is ridiculous at managing at all of this (kudos!) or something is slipping somewhere. Even in custom-dev it can be cutthroat, especially with large-scale projects and demanding clients.

9
jasonrhaas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Meh, kind of a generic article about how you should prioritize lifestyle over building a startup. I guess this is nothing new to me, I did the digital nomad thing with Remote Year for a year and change, and now I'm still working remotely in Austin, TX.

I do miss the constant travel, there is always something coming up to look forward to. When you are in one place, not constantly traveling, you have to make your own fun. Which is why I've taken up other things like riding motorcycles, brewing beer, and speaking at my local Python meetup.

All that year I was working full time as a Python Developer while traveling constantly. Every weekend was an epic adventure. It's an amazing lifestyle if you can pull it off, but its not for everyone can definitely will wear on you after a while.

10
buf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I own a lifestyle business and I work at a startup as the founding engineer, but I work remotely.

When you work remotely, you can treat both your lifestyle business and your gig the same, insofar as you have the freedom to take an hour off your gig to do some calls for your lifestyle business in the middle of the day, or you can test particular technologies on your lifestyle business before you commit to it in your startup.

I find them both to be healthily married.

I still have the freedom to hang out with my kid at lunch, or work from a far away place, while at the same time achieving my career goals and attaining financial independence.

11
Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Give me a break. He is playing fast and loose with terminology and it is disingenuous because he is twisting lifestyle business to be whatever he wants it to mean while dissing startups and not giving that term the same flexibility to be "anything that grows fast, even if it doesn't eat the CEO's life."

I hate the term lifestyle business and articles like this one are part of why. I have given my POV previously here:

http://micheleincalifornia.blogspot.com/2014/03/i-love-lucy-...

My recollection is that Plenty of Fish was started by one guy who never took VC money, so he got to keep all the money when he sold for millions. Articles like this don't mention examples like that when justifying their biased opinion that "lifestyle business" = good and "startup" = bad. (In part because of the lack of VC money, I assume that Plenty of Fish was not a pressure cooker. Upon rereading my comment, that assumption does not seem clear.)

12
chatmasta 1 day ago 1 reply      
A lifestyle business seems fundamentally incompatible with a team oriented business. Let's assume the goal of a "lifestyle" business by a single founder is to automate all operations such that little to no work is required on the part of that founder.

Ok, that's all well and good. But some of that "automation" will inevitably be delegation to the founder's employees. So the employees have to work. The founder doesn't have to work. How can the founder possibly show good leadership and build a strong team if his goal is to work as little as possible?

As a founder, you are responsible for the well being of your employees. That's why they're employees, not independent contractors. If you're working four hours a week with a team of employees, there is a high chance you're shirking some responsibility toward them.

And if you decide to be a full time boss, then you're still building more than a business. You're building a team that you are responsible for. That is, you "answer" to other people - your employees. At this point, the advantages of a lifestyle business over VC funded business ("low hours," "not beholden to anyone") start to lose their luster.

If you're interested in building a team, and a lasting enterprise, then it becomes more logical to just take some seed funding so you can safely pay your employees and ensure an early growth trajectory. Whereas if you're only interested in a totally automated business to provide you and your family a stable income, then you should avoid hiring employees because you'll just end up beholden to them.

Thus the ideas of a "fully automated lifestyle business" and a "lifestyle business with a strong team" seem at odds with each other.

13
alissasobo 1 day ago 1 reply      
At a certain point, this blog post seemed mostly about the great traveling opportunities that this company offers its employees. That's' neat, for employees who are kid-free. But as a developer married to developer... with 2 kids under the age of three... I can tell you that those work retreats abroad actually become pretty challenging for families. At a certain point.. people want to have kids. I would find a company who made their employee perks more about realistically supporting families far more appealing.
14
mcone 1 day ago 1 reply      
Site seems to be down. Here's the cached article: http://archive.is/p5ZLR
15
swlkr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lifestyle businesses eventually give you more of what you really want, freedom.

VC backed startups seem to just give you a new set of bosses.

16
tixocloud 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think what's important here is that we each have to know what our lifestyle aspirations are.

For some folks, a lifestyle business is better suited for them as they are looking to get more time out of their lives to do other things.

For others, a startup might be better because they have more control over whatever product/service they are providing.

17
znq 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just in case people are more interested in the details of the business we run, Indie Hackers recently ran an interview with us https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses/bugfender
18
thefuzz 1 day ago 6 replies      
I'm someone who is thinking of changing carriers at 30 to become a developer. I love the idea of cutting out bureaucracy and office politics and be paid decently. I'd love any thoughts and advice from more experienced people about what I should do in the next 12-24 months.
19
lafay 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm all for lifestyle businesses and side hustles. But some ideas really do require a lot of up-front capital. It's hard to imagine Tesla, SpaceX, Boom, or Nest succeeding as lifestyle businesses.
20
josh_carterPDX 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have grown both a lifestyle business and a startup and I still don't know which I prefer. I mean, it's nice to have some flexibility, but it's also nice to find the capital that helps propel your business faster. It really depends on the business, the person, and what you'd like to get out of the venture. At the end of the day it's a preference. I don't think one beats the other.
21
fiatjaf 1 day ago 1 reply      
Has "lifestyle" changed its meaning? It seems to mean now that if you're "focusing on lifestyle" you are kayaking on the Pacific Ocean.
22
rb808 1 day ago 1 reply      
The people who I've seen who have the best lifestyle have big chunks of work followed by big chunks of time off.

They tended to work 6-12 month contracts followed by 3-6 months off. This works great in a good economy, when it turns sour its more difficult.

The other happy group worked in mines or oil rigs on a month on month off schedule. They got paid tax free and had 6 month long vacations a year to travel.

I think I prefer those options to working while travelling.

23
chet177 1 day ago 0 replies      
You could pretty much have the lifestyle you want wherever you are. You don't need to go anywhere really, unless you want to be snorkelling or scuba diving everyday

Most days you just want to eat well, exercise, meditate, do a good job, try'n make some money, spend time with family, and sleep well. The odd day you do feel adventurous just take off on your motorcycle or hop on a plane.

No great scenic view will make your life automatically better. The scenic view in itself is only benefit there is. That I have to agree!

24
lquist 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also this doesn't have to be an either/or decision that you have to make on Day 1. We started our business as a lifestyle business and as it got traction have decided to pursue a startup approach. On track to do $10M+ revenue this year :)
25
kornakiewicz 1 day ago 8 replies      
What does 'a lifestyle business' mean, anyway?
26
goodroot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many comments in here make the dialogue feel like a roiling cauldron of over-work and burn-out. Whether you're nomadic, working in a start-up, working at a mega-corp, working at the the grocery store, balance in life is crucial.

In knowledge work, how can one really spend more than 40 hours producing quality output? It becomes an unhealthy compulsion to sate a hyper-stimulated existence instead of a strategy for creation. Whichever way you choose to work, focus on health and ample rest. The rest will take care of itself.

27
orthoganol 1 day ago 0 replies      
From someone who's done both, they are not comparable, directly, but they have a complementary relation: The DN (digital nomad) life is absolutely an engine for the kind of creative and free thinking that engenders killer startup ideas. Startups are "the thing" you want to commit your life to, the world-changing vision that you're ready to sacrifice for; the DN/ lifestyle business/ remote gigs mode is the fertile ground, for when you lack strength of vision, you don't know what you want right now, so you slow down, gain experience, and grow your thinking.

Only ever doing one in your life without the other is unenviable, and makes it hard to fully enjoy and appreciate, or even excel at, whichever one you've chosen.

28
astrowilliam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been working in tech for the last 10 years. I've come to the point that I need to enjoy my life and not sit in an office 10 hours a day, coding for someone else's vision.

So I started a brand ( https://lasttrystuff.com ) of my own so I can enjoy an active lifestyle while adventuring. It doesn't quite pay as much, but the trade offs are immensely satisfying.

29
lazyjones 1 day ago 1 reply      
How does the business case of such a "lifestyle business" look, i.e. the numbers? I'm not sure whether operating out of a sailing boat is affordable for small companies and the $6500 MRR of bugfender can't be covering it...
30
matchagaucho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure I'd agree with the OP's definition of Lifestyle Business, given he's operating a service company with employees, payroll, clients, and sales quotas.

That's no less hectic than a start-up.

31
jjmorrison 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds great if you want to optimize for your personal happiness. But not a feasible way to really make an impact on the world. The world needs more of the latter IMHO.
32
quadcore 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why does the author think one has to be happy the way he does? Lifestyle business beats a startup for some and the opposite is true for others.
33
sgwealti 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is a Lifestyle business? I read through the first 50% of the article and didn't see that term defined anywhere.
34
SirLJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
The holy grail is to automate, once done you'll be really free to enjoy life and give back to humanity
35
SKYRHO_ 1 day ago 3 replies      
Whoops... Did HN Crash their site?
12
Apple staffers reportedly rebelling against open office plan bizjournals.com
398 points by V99  2 days ago   390 comments top 23
1
seorphates 2 days ago 8 replies      
Working in open office plans is simply awful.

Personally I believe remote work, for any tech-enabled employer, makes the most sense. The impact on infrastructure by removing commuting alone could maybe help save the planet. And our collective sanity.

Wouldn't it be nice to have ISPs that can provide an infrastructure that could actually support that? I think so.

The hideous effects of cluster-fucking hundreds of thousands of people daily just needs to stop. Tech companies are guilty. They're huge and, humbly opined, are idiots for making it worse and not really needing to. Top that off with an open floor destination and.. damn, work is beat.

2
inetknght 2 days ago 10 replies      
My company only has offices for upper management. Everyone else is at a table. Tables are arranged in groups of four.

Now, I get it, some people like open office environments. Good for them.

Me? Well, I've told many coworkers that I can't work from home because I wouldn't work from home. There are too many distractions at home, so I need to be at the office to be productive.

But this open office?

There are days where I am convinced I would do more work, be more productive, and feel more satisfied if I worked from home.

I went and bought some noise cancelling headphones. They help, but definitely not enough. My table is by the main door. With a room of 40+ engineers, there's constant distracting traffic. Some people make snide comments about my choice of operating system, keyboard, language, editor, typing noise, attire, whatever. Or to chat about the games that I missed last night, something happened at the not-company-sponsored-happy-hour that I didn't get the invite to, or something about lunch that, you know, you should have been there and if only you wouldn't leave the office for lunch. Or about how your racing car is in for the shop because, well, actually I don't even care why. It's just in the shop (I know! you told me!) and you expect me to care about car parts too, and shame on me for not knowing the difference between a maserati and a miata.

On the other hand, any time I mention to my boss that I'd like at least a cubicle the response is "it's not going to happen". Thanks, boss! I'm glad you've got my productivity concerns on your plate. I'm glad they can just, you know, be heard. Not addressed, just heard. It's really helpful to be heard. All day. It's real helpful to hear everyone's discussions while I'm trying to do work.

Honestly, guys, if you like an open office environment, that's good for you. Not everyone wants one and not everyone works well in one.

3
Joeri 2 days ago 2 replies      
Apple has insisted in presentations to the city of Cupertino that the open floor plan designs are conducive to collaboration between teams, per Bloomberg. But the high-level executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, are exempt from this collaborative environment and have offices on the fourth floor of the new building.

See, this is exactly what's wrong with open plan offices in most places. If a CEO honestly believes open plan is better for collaboration, then they need to eat their own dog food. That CEO needs to be sitting right in the middle of things. If they find they can't get anything done as a consequence of the collaboration they are in the right place to take action to fix that. And if they are able to achieve productive outcomes, they are also in the right place to argue against people who say it's not possible. Letting upper management avoid all the downsides of the open plan layout causes problems with it to fester and will bring overall worker satisfaction and productivity down. In short, it is bad management to treat management in a special way.

4
loco5niner 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hopefully, more and more companies experience backlash from this. It is a horrific mistake to add distracting elements to most programmers environments. Even worse, in my open office plan, they put our very loud finance group right next to us. Absolutely no thought of noise management was considered, except for putting in horrible "white noise" generators that set off my tinnitus Thankfully, my direct manager is understanding and let me turn off the one directly over my head. And by directly over my head, I mean about 4 feet.
5
nemo44x 2 days ago 4 replies      
It all seems so backwards. Instead of having collaborative working spaces with private rooms for meetings, doesn't it make more sense to have private rooms for working and collaborative meeting spaces?
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hkmurakami 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's really kind of amazing to me how in 20 years we've gone from laughing at the cacophonous, claustrophobic, diseases-transmission-inducing, open office plans of other economic regions (ex: the traditional Japanese office http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CadIFZ3h638/T7yGtzdxVDI/AAAAAAAABe..., or the Wall Street trading floor), to precisely emulating their layouts (with better superficial aesthetic design), inheriting both their economic efficiency and productivity inefficiencies.

I'll take a cube farm with 5 feet walls any day over an open office.

7
chmaynard 2 days ago 3 replies      
I worked at Apple during the years when the company designed and built its first campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino. As I recall, Apple R&D employees were considered stakeholders and participated in the design of the interior spaces. Apple wisely decided to give each engineer a private office. There were open areas near the offices with comfortable furniture and whiteboards for engineers to meet and collaborate. I worked in one of these buildings from 2001-2007, and I can confirm that the work areas were beautifully designed and ideal for fostering productive work. It's sad to hear that Apple apparently abandoned this approach in its new campus.
8
aetherson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am fairly close to someone who works at Apple. His team is avoiding the new spaceship building. He mentioned wanting to keep his office, but that was just one part of several different complaints, including just "it turns out that the building isn't big enough for most of the people who work at the HQ in Cupertino," and "My team would probably have to split up in awkward ways because not everyone would be able to work in the spaceship (due to space constraints)."
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nashashmi 2 days ago 8 replies      
Man, I remember in college when we would be working long hours in the library on a computer lined up in a row of computers. Every one would be intensely working on what they needed to. Sometimes two would work together. This was especially true before presentations when we were trying to put our stuff together. It was neat. It was collaborative. It was fun. And we were happy.

Open floor plan is reminiscent of those days, but it isn't working. And I cannot figure out why. What's missing? Intensity? Work? Stress? Team building therapy? Or just trust? Whatever it is I hope we figure it out.

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sidlls 2 days ago 2 replies      
Open offices diminish workers to cattle status. Most work, even the kind many developers would not think of as being so, in tech companies requires thoughtfulness often and collaboration less often. I consider open office plans to be disrespectful and an indicator of second-class status.
11
minwcnt5 2 days ago 0 replies      
Headphones are a poor solution to the noise problem in open offices. I find it uncomfortable to wear them for 8 hours at a time, and it means I can't overhear the conversations I do want to overhear. Sitting elsewhere only works if I have a task I can do on a laptop; for serious development work I need a lot of screen real estate. That solution also has the same problem as headphones where I might miss important conversations because I'm too busy hiding from noise created by people doing work completely unrelated to mine.

There's a pretty happy medium, 2-10 person offices (with 4-5 being the most common size) with glass walls. Google used to have a lot of these before completely open plans became en vogue, and it was very rare to hear complaints. They allow frequent interaction with your most common collaborators while blocking out conversations from distant teams. They reduce visual distraction while still allowing in lots of natural light and inviting conversation. Doors were usually left open, so it was pretty comfortable to walk into another office and start up a conversation.

With the giant, open, chicken-farm style floorplans, people feel too self-conscious about dozens of people overhearing to have small 2-3 person conversations near their desks, which means more formal meetings with all the associated overhead, and fewer impromptu questions like "hey does anyone know of a tool to do X?" And then you're still more distracted anyway due to all the typing, people walking by, large groups being loud when gathering to eat lunch or go to a meeting together or whatever.

I only see two advantages of completely open floors: slightly cheaper (glass offices can be made almost as dense, but not quite, and I guess the glass partitions aren't free), and better circulation to dissipate bad odors more quickly.

12
kevinburke 2 days ago 1 reply      
One solution to this problem would be for Apple employees to form a union and collectively bargain for better working conditions. Probably just threatening to do this would lead to significant concessions.

Any Apple employees interested in this should contact Maciej Ceglowski on Signal at +1415-610-0231.

13
knorker 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently watched the movie Office Space.

Oh, such a wonderful working environment. To have the privacy and isolation from distractions and interruptions that a cubicle gives. What I wouldn't give to work in such a great office space.

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chank 2 days ago 1 reply      
My company recently switched to an open floor plan. It's done nothing but increase distractions and office gossip. Everyone I know tries to get away from their desk as often as possible. Ducking into side rooms, attempting to work from home, and just plain using any excuse to escape the zoo.

Management loves open plans because it's the cheapest seating arrangement. They claim that it will increase collaboration while exempting themselves from having to deal with the environment. The truth is that just being able to see someone without walking over to their desk isn't going to magically make you communicate with them more or make your output higher. Some people like open floor plans but it's been my experience most people don't and just grin and bear it while slowly dying inside.

15
borplk 2 days ago 0 replies      
> open floor plan designs are conducive to collaboration between teams

This is just an overused cover-up story to avoid stating the real reasons which is cutting costs and monitoring employees.

They use "collaboration" so that you can't voice your opposition to it easily.

If you do that they will beat you with the "not a team player" and "not a culture fit" sticks.

Then in reality unhappy employees sit next to each other with noise cancelling headphones whose job has been unnecessarily harder than it already is because now a part of their mental focus and capacity is actively going towards ignoring distractions.

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synicalx 2 days ago 1 reply      
We're going one step better at my work with our new/future office, "Activity Based Working". All the trappings of "open plan" but with even more features to make Government work more soul-crushing and complicated.

One office, with desks for 80% of the staff (because the other 20% need to take the hint and resign). Each desk only has one monitor, keyboard, and a mouse. If you've got certain ergonomic requirements, or need a colour accurate monitor, or a large monitor, or several monitors then you're just a naysayer who is obviously not productive enough to understand the ways of the future.

No one 'has' a desk, instead you grab your laptop out of your locker each morning and go find one. Or you might be allocated a desk via a morning raffle, not sure on this one yet. At the end of each day you clean every surface with alcohol wipes, which you then queue up to place in the singular bin that services the 300ish staff. Anyone who sits at the same desk twice will have to complete "Activity Based Working" training, in much the same way intoxicated road users may attend a DUI class.

There will also be no car parks for staff, who are being encouraged to use public transport. The fact that this public transport doesn't actually exist yet is just a "growth opportunity", but who's growth we're referring to here is not yet clear.

This might all sound like a joke, but the sad thing is it's 100% serious. Literally all of the above has been set in stone by minister that our department reports to.

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pimmen 2 days ago 0 replies      
"But the high-level executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, are exempt from this collaborative environment and have offices on the fourth floor of the new building."

Because private offices offers control over your working environment; if you need to collaborate, use a conference room, if you need a quick discussion, call them up on Slack.

I'm not going to touch wether or not the CEO has earned the best working environment, but let's bring attention to the fact that the CEO is promoting less control over your working environment for his employees and claim open-office plans offers all kinds of benefits, while the C-level management chooses to opt out. Either that's very noble of them to sacrifice all the benefits of open-office, or they're being a bit disingenuous about why almost everyone else gets an open-office plan.

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a3n 2 days ago 1 reply      
In (almost) all open office environments, people above a certain level have private offices.

Why?

Why don't they want to be as productive and collaborative as their reports? Conference rooms and phone rooms are just as available to them as they are to the rest. They can probably even afford much better head phones than the rest.

I just don't see enough of a difference to justify it.

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pasbesoin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple has the money to afford whatever it wants. If it's like any other place I've seen, I expect there's longstanding communication of one or another sort from high performers that they want distraction-free environments.

From what I've observed of such high performers, they are not anti-social nor anti-collaborative, nor are they "crippled" in either respect. Rather, many of them are the most capable in these areas, because they actually pay attention and focus on getting things done -- and done as well as time and resources allow.

The fact that Apple, like many workplaces I've observed, chooses to ignore this and push a paradigm that increases their stress and decreases their effectiveness and efficiency?

Well, as I learned in my own experience, over the years: This is just a fundamental level of dis-respect.

I don't know anything about Apple work internals, specifically; the last time I intersected with those peripherally was in the early '90's.

But when you blatantly disregard what employees tell you -- and in this case, "professional" employees who have a high degree of training and awareness about the tooling they need, including their work environments, to be most effective. Well, that's just disrespect.

And employers who persistently engage in such, deserve what they get. I hope -- because at some point, this counter-productive... "ideology" needs to die.

P.S. Those employees that want cubicles or open-space? Fine, give it to them. I don't want to dictate environment, either way.

Trust your employees to select what works best for them.

And measure the results. Objectively, not in the typical performance review ex post facto rationalization and justification.

In my own experience, top performers cautiously (politics) leapt at the chance to work from home and otherwise gain undistracted blocks of time to adequately focus on complex problems and program management.

Those who embraced the cycle of endless meetings, interruptions -- including environmental -- and superficially-addressed delegation? They faced the same problems, month after month, cycle after cycle.

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nupertino 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if anyone will make a claim about necessary workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for ADD/ADHD. I already take medication which makes it almost OK for me to share an office - a recent change for me after 20 years. But I'm still freaked out by someone literally 3 feet away from me. My social anxiety and borderline asperger's really make me seize up until I can be alone in the late afternoon / evening.

When I had my own office, I was able to do things like coordinate health care, talk to my wife, and eventually the divorce lawyers, but with the knowledge that I could close my door and have privacy - now I have to escape to a staircase to have a private conversation.

Plus, I'm terribly annoying to be around. From my mechanical clicky keyboard to a desk overflowing with artifacts and fidgets of various ilk, sharing a workspace means subjecting everyone else to my idiosyncrasies, mumblings and offensive body oder.

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norea-armozel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll never understand the fascination with firms repeatedly going for the open office plan. I remember seeing pictures from the early 20th century where such offices existed full of people typing away. I don't know how they handled the noise or the fact they couldn't isolate themselves to do their work whether it was repetitive or novel in nature. It just seems like firms think of labor as a singular mechanical process and not as something that's done in an irregular and discoordinated fashion (as I've seen in my personal experience from working in factories and currently working in software development). I really think managerial practices need to update with the facts instead of forcing the facts to fit with their expectations.
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skc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every article I've read about this building in the past has gone to great pains to point out the artistry, elegance and taste that was applied in building it.

I now find it highly amusing that at Apple, form over function won out yet again.

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brudgers 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good architecture does not come from curved glass and 1mm joints between materials. It comes from human habitability. Why build a building that makes people unhappy? It seems to miss the point.
13
JavaScript for People Who Hate JavaScript zachholman.com
416 points by ingve  2 days ago   322 comments top 30
1
cel1ne 2 days ago 14 replies      
Background: I learned Javascript 1997 and kept up.

I have extensive experience in ES6/React for the browser and Java/Kotlin for Server-, Desktop- and Mobile-Apps.

A week ago I switched a fairly new project from the usual setup (react/babel/webpack) to Kotlin-code only. My IDE compiles the Kotlin to JS now and webpack serves it as usual.

Writing the react-bindings took me an hour, after that my productivity went up by about 10.000%.It's finally on par with my productivity on server and desktop. No type errors, fast refactoring, no "undefined" errors and all the goodies (extensions) of Kotlin.

Removing the complex eslint settings and babel-setup from webpack and package.json felt triumphant.

My JSX looks like this now and is completely typesafe:

 val LieferungenList: (props: ListProps) -> ReactElement = { Datagrid { div { className = "..." ... } TextField { source = "date" } TextField { source = "produktname" } EditButton { } } }
I even get compiler-errors when I nest HTML-tags the wrong way (h1 inside h1) or so.

I couldn't be happier. I'll never touch plain ES6 again.

2
sametmax 2 days ago 7 replies      
TL;DR: JS with a ton of make up and tooling to not write JS is not as horrible as it used to be.

Well. That doesn't make it awesome either.

You just traded some problems for others.

Like the damn source map never working correctly, the build time being longer and longer, and the never ending list of plugins you expend every day after stumbling on yet another small-minuscule-not-that-important-I-swear detail.

The tool chain you spend more and more time on, despite all the "5-minutes" bundles provided by facebook or on githubs.

Explaining things to new comers has never been as difficult as it is now. Teaching is a pain.

Choosing your stack is a dangerous bet, and the odds and steaks are changing all the time.

If you opt-in for a flux architecture, you will soon write Java-as-in-the-90 on the frontend instead of Javascript, with so many adapters and design patterns as layers you will become angry.

If you don't (you-totally-don't-need-redux-to-use-react-guys) then most documentations and tutorials will not answer your questions, and you are own your own solving every single problems. Even the simplest ones, like redirecting on a route after data changes and closing a panel at the same time.

"Libs, not framework" means you need to relearn everything, rewrite a lot of code, tests and doc and renew maintenance for each new project. Meanwhile nobody agree on what a the proper stack is.

JS, despite all the paint on the rust, still has the old gotchas. This is still weird. ";" is still auto inserted. "==" still compares like nothing else. Errors come in different so many different forms it's not funny. Basic maths assumptions like commutativity are out of scope. Still no namespaces, but instead we use monstrosity like webpack and incompatible import systems to encapsulate things. Stdlib still doesn't have essential things like hashing, string/date formatting or encoding. Even basic operation like removing an element from an array using an index is a pain.

No, I'm sorry, JS has not become awesome. We just arrived to a point were we accepted we have everything to built with it and agree to pay the huge price for it. That's all.

Projects like vue.js makes me think there is still hope we end up with elegant tools from people who care. But right now I just embrace the madness and make money with it: all those poor customers don't realize the trap the current mindset lead them to, and I have so many solutions to the problem they should never have had to sell them.

3
pmlnr 2 days ago 4 replies      
Don't compare JS (or any language) to any other language - or any language to another language. People wrote a lot about it (Your language sucks because... - type things). JS is just another language.

The JS ecosystem is wild and moving way too fast, but even that is not really the trouble with it: it's that it's being overused.

He mentions DHTML at the beginning, which was the perfect example of using too much of something: mouse trailing bouncy balls with falling snow, my, I don't really miss those days.

Yet we're here in 2017 and React & Co. is crippling the web. Plain simple news or a blog site rendering with JS? AMP, loading megabytes of Javascript, claiming to speed up the web? When your product is text, how about you serve text and maybe only boost it or do analytics with JS? I know it's not fancy, but for a lot of sites out there, JS based rendering is completely unneeded.

In case of web apps... A little while ago I listened to a talk of front end colleagues, claiming that we'll speed up the site by async calling some blocks, so the initial content will get down fast and the less important ones will follow. When I asked if we're measuring the very end render time - the one that heats the CPUs, because you offload the rendering to the client, which can get quite stressful - the answer was 'no', mostly because nobody knows how to do it. I also asked about how screenreaders will work with this, and they thought I'm talking about mobile, which is extremely sad, and no, I'm unaware of any screenreader-friendly JS based app. (Screenreaders are the programs literally reading out the text for visually impaired.)

Google and FB offers fallback, HTML-only solutions to their services, because the realised their things don't work on slow connections and/or slow devices. Maybe this should be taken as a sign.

4
twii 2 days ago 8 replies      
Omg, so this guy thinks he knows why I'm hating Javascript? Well, it's definitely not because of the lack of types, or because without Prettier my code looks shit, neither would it be the lack of E6/ES7 features since I'm using Coffeescript 2. No, I hate Javascript especially for it's conitnuously changing ecosystem being forced upon you. You named Dan Abramov? Ah, the guy who deprecated almost all flux in favor of his own idea (Redux), or by deprecating React Mixins, because he thinks Mixins are bad, Higher Order Components is the new holy grail?

If I am looking for a job as a Javasript developer at the moment it is not about my coding skills, it is about my willingness to adopt all those hyped technologies, and the author of this article is just making it worse.

I also hate Javascript for all those people reading this that think I don't understand it yet, and are going to explain me how great ES6/ES7, Promises, and/or Typescript are. Please don't.

5
pbowyer 2 days ago 6 replies      
I've gone through the same experience this year, having picked up modern JavaScript, Angular2, TypeScript and RxJS for a project.

For me it was TypeScript that did it. I came to appreciate strong typing. And ES6, fixing the 'this' scope problems and with a conventional class syntax (I understand prototype inheritance is clever, but it's not the way I've been trained to think). I didn't get to use async/await for various reasons, but that looks to remove my third pain point (callback hell/promises/observables).

RxJS remains a mystery (I swear the API wasn't designed for humans) I use and hope it works, and combining code that use Observables with those that use Promises still wakes me up in a cold sweat.

But now going back to old territory (PHP, Symfony) I miss it. Yesterday's miss was union types. TypeScript has spoiled me.

6
golergka 2 days ago 1 reply      
It looks like the author didn't mention the main reason many of us hate Javascript: weak typing.

Weak typing is great for small-scoped project without a lot of business logic. But when there's a lot of data, a lot of assumptions about it, and, most importantly, these assumptions change A LOT during development - which happens all the time in game development, for example - strong typing is a godsend.

When I make a change in a strong-typed language, I deliberately make it in such a way that the code won't compile unless I complete it. If I can make something a compile-time instead of a run-time error, I do it (and that's why I dream of switching to Rust one day - on some game engine two generations from now, unfortunately). When I refactor something, I know that compiler will let me know if I forget to change it somewhere.

Compiler is my dearest friend. Compilation errors are his gentle hints that make my code better and prepare it from failing in user's hands. Without it, I feel lost and always on my toes. I have to write tests instead. I have to launch the project (which, when it uses a lot of resources, always has overhead) and test everything by hand. When I write a big project in Javascript, I feel like a minefield, unsure of what's broken and what's not.

I can't understand how people write serious, big projects in weak-typed languages.

7
agentultra 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was a Python developer for about 10 years before joining a startup that works almost exclusively in Javascript. I had to swallow my pride and make the best of it. I had a huge, smug chip in my shoulder.

ES6 has made the language tolerable. Enjoyable even. It has even been a decent medium for mentoring more junior developers who haven't had any exposure to functional programming in school. I can show them combinators, functors, applicatives without all of the usual ceremony in a more pure language. For that JS has been quite nice.

However for my own projects I just use GHCJS or Bucklescript and compile down to JS. Google Closure and Webpack are fine tools for shaking out the unused code and bundling everything up.

8
TazeTSchnitzel 2 days ago 3 replies      
I disliked JavaScript, but then I read JavaScript: The Good Parts, and I saw that with a bit of discipline* there's something quite pleasant underneath. It's a book that, rather than being focussed on telling you what not to use, instead shows you various approaches to programming with what you should use. If nothing else it'll give you food for thought and unlearn you of your worst beginner habits. Mind you, it's a dated book and ES6 added a lot to the language.

*don't listen to every suggestion of Crockford though; e.g. having to hoist your variable declarations is as obnoxious an idea in JavaScript as it is in C

9
eecc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Meh, all I got from this article is that this guy is writing a calendar app.

Perhaps that's the whole point of this post. ;)

10
mhd 2 days ago 0 replies      
My problem with the current Javascript culture (which definitely includes the React infospace) is basically the inverse how I felt about C++ back in the day. Then, in the early years of the second age, I felt that the libraries and frameworks I was using should use more of the then-current standard, like the STL, RTTI or whatever was hip and promosing back then.

These days, it seems that every feature that is semi-supported in at least one transpiler isn't just used (in various ways) but in fact begets a whole slew of libraries. Especially when we're talking about ways to circumvent the async-hole.

Other transpiled languages will either have the equivalent features, use lots of inline JS or ditch large parts of the ecosystem. While the latter would be possible if NewLangs standard library is big and good enough, I'm not feeling particularly optimistic about that.

Quite likely that C++ history will repeat itself: Just use the core language and a minimal library and do everything yourself (back then that was e.g. C++/Win32/ATL, not sure what it'll be for my future browser-based projects. Modula-3, I miss thee.).

11
GeneralMaximus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I primarily built frontend applications, so JavaScript is pretty much the only programming language I use on a daily basis. I'm not in love with it (although post-ES6 JS is quite pleasant to write), but I don't mind it as much anymore.

The reason? I feel like JavaScript is heading in the same direction as Java. The core language is highly flawed, which has resulted in the community developing build-time tooling and editor niceties to keep things sane.

In the future I expect to see more tools like Flow and Prettier, and existing tools and editors becoming smarter. I'm excited for improvements to JS as a language, but these days I'm more excited for new tooling.

12
kreetx 2 days ago 4 replies      
This probably comes off as said from an ivory tower, but I don't think it's the people from other untyped languages who hate JavaScript nowdays. ES6+ looks pretty good compared to Python/Ruby/PHP perspective, and it works in the browser!
13
inopinatus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've gone through a similar experience with Rails 5.1 which has, having ditched jquery, gained support for webpack, babel, yarn, and vue.js (& react) instead; and thereby made writing JavaScript an order-of-magnitude less painful for me.

I feel that ES6 is a palace built on the ruins of a garbage dump and an odd stink still leaks through from time to time, but like the author, I can work with it now without loathing what I'm doing.

14
manx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I also started learning JS in the DHTML era and wrote small games and toys for IE4. I did PHP stuff for almost 10 years and it was my main programming language. But at some point I stopped doing webdev, since the whole thing was a big mess and didn't seem to get better. I hated it. After a long break I decided to do another web project again and worked with Scala in the backend and Angular and ES6 in the frontend (about 2.5yrs ago). At first it seemed to be a lot better, but we ended up with another working but unmaintainable SPA. Adding new features required a lot of knowledge and was a pain. In this project I tried and failed to implement a solid Graph Library in JS. This motivated me to look at ScalaJS and write this library part of the app in Scala. It worked very well and I was amazed by the JS interop. From this point on I develop new web-apps with Scala in the full stack and am very happy with it. I suggest to try it yourself for the frontend, since it has a very similar syntax to JS.The type safety avoids most runtime errors and therefore painful debugging time. Compile times became a lot better recently.

http://www.scala-js.org

The real power comes when you share your data structures and algorithms with the backend, get a type safe REST API and macro-based high performance json/binary serialization.

15
skocznymroczny 2 days ago 2 replies      
I switched to Dart few months ago, it actually makes JavaScript bearable. I never get to see the actual generated JS code.
16
sAbakumoff 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really enjoyed the writing style of the article - "hottest shit on the street", "Its just a yarn install away", "DHTML was totally rad, like how the Budweiser frogs were rad."...just brilliant! Also gave me a good nostalgic feeling about DHTML..
17
simonlc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of people relate ES2015 to giving us a better javascript, but the core language remains the same; the changes are just additions.

Building a tool chain can be an extreme pain in the ass because everyone is still experimenting, and trying to make the web better. Things like web workers, hot module reloading, and code splitting are relatively new, and don't have mature tools or patterns. Yes it's hard to learn, and yes it takes a lot of time, but once you learn a few tools you can keep using them over and over. I've been using gulp and browserify since 2011, and recently switched to gulp+webpack for code splitting, and HMR, and the switch couldn't have been easier.

18
finchisko 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'am huge fan of JavaScript and personally don't like both Ruby and Python, but would never write an article titled: "Ruby/Python for People Who Hate Ruby/Python". I just don't use them. Writing such a article is IMO arrogant and bad for your karma. I understand some programmers are forced to use JS against their will (because there is not other person for the job), but if you hate JS and you're not forced to use it, please just don't use it and then you don't have to write such a negative and opinionated articles.
19
DonHopkins 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best way to truly hate something is to know it very well.
20
mr_ali3n 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sorry, not trying to be a d*ck here but I don't get the point.

You said you don't like the NodeJS eco system as you need to install thousands of packages to get your work done whereas on the other hand, your find CRA which uses tons of NodeJS packages to get the work done.

Secondly, code splitting, Babel, bundling has nothing to do with CRA, they are just standalone packages which works well together.

Third, "Whats more, updates are great. Its just a yarn install away.", Isn't this something which NPM does as well?

Syntax - Again, nothing to do with ReactJS, it's babel which comes with polyfills.

So am just curious here to understand that how exactly CRA changed your mind where 90% of what you are doing is pure JS and has nothing to do with ReactJS?

21
rcarmo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been using Node 8 again after a few years of staunchly avoiding it, and the pain of selecting the right kind of libraries to use async/await sanely without having to massage promises (and .then()) is still there - in that sense, I feel very much like that cat with the strawberry beret on the article heading...
22
tchaffee 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing I like about the more quirky languages like JavaScript and PHP, or even the far less quirky but still dangerous C language, is that they force you to write good tests. You don't get the false sense of confidence some other languages give you. I'm still not positive if static types are a poor man's test suite, or if a test suite is a poor man's static types, but I find tests are far more flexible and great at describing intent.
23
vmware513 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting, because Create React App is fairly new tool, however Ember CLI gives you the same thing for years now... so JavaScript World was always cool, at least for Ember.js developers. ;)
24
swlkr 1 day ago 0 replies      
The latest js tooling is certainly light years ahead of where it was last decade, but it's a double edged sword, because now it takes a lot more effort to get something going.

Indie hackers like myself are still better served by vanilla rails + turbolinks, it gets you something that feels fast wtih a lot less effort.

25
peterbe 1 day ago 0 replies      
26
tambourine_man 1 day ago 1 reply      
This guy's got a great sense of humor. I pissed my pents with the linked[1] 1x1.gif article.

Or maybe I'm just as old as he is.

[0] https://zachholman.com/posts/only-90s-developers/

27
lopatin 2 days ago 0 replies      
> [Prettier] Its basically like gofmt for JavaScript.

Gotta mention jsfmt, which is actual gofmt for JavaScript. Awesome tool, hasn't been updated in a while though. RIP Rdio.

https://github.com/rdio/jsfmt

28
vitomd 2 days ago 0 replies      
If React or Vue.js dont click for you try Riot.js https://github.com/riot/riot Its a minimalistic js library with a lot to offer.I made a tutorial some time ago, I think it could give you a glimpse about what you can do http://vitomd.com/blog/coding/hello-riot-js-quick-tutorial-a...
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davidreiss 2 days ago 0 replies      
People either hate javascript with a passion or they love it with religious zeal.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that it's used mostly for web programming? But geez, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to javascript.

But it doesn't come close the division over Perl. Yikes.

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dmitriid 2 days ago 4 replies      
Javascript is only going to get worse. Much worse. TC39 proposal "process" is driven by a never-ending self-congratulatory circle-jerk. Any concerns are dismissed with "people on TC39 discussed it, they know better, how dare you question their wisdom".

While there's still time, escape to TypeScript (though it will be flooded by crap from TC39 soon enough), ClojureScript, Kotlin, Scala.js, Elm, Purescript

14
Ask HN: Projects that don't make you money but you're doing it out of sheer joy?
413 points by superasn  1 day ago   488 comments top 85
1
yourduskquibble 11 hours ago 6 replies      
I just saw this thread, and honestly it is probably too late to get noticed by many, but I'm attempting to 'unsuck the web' with my project[0] by pinning "sticky" website elements where they belong - i.e. the website header shouldn't steal your screen real estate and scroll down the page with you.

My project/uBO filter list removes the "annoying" elements noted above as well as other "features" of websites (e.g. social share bars, cookie notices, etc) through a filter list that works with uBlock Origin.

I update the list often, and admittedly am probably entering into an arms race but I'm just really sick of websites hijacking (what I think) the web was built for (information).

Feel free to subscribe to the filter list by pasting the URL below[1] into the 'Custom' section under the '3rd-party filters' tab of uBlock Origin.

This filter list also works on mobile Firefox for Android with uBlock Origin installed.

[0] Project Homepage https://github.com/yourduskquibbles/webannoyances

[1] https://raw.githubusercontent.com/yourduskquibbles/webannoya...

2
StavrosK 1 day ago 9 replies      
Oh man, that describes all of them.

http://ipfessay.stavros.io/ - Publish uncensorable essays on IPFS

https://www.eternum.io/ - Pin IPFS files with a nice interface

https://www.pastery.net/ - The best pastebin

https://spa.mnesty.com/ - Fuck with spammers

https://www.timetaco.com/ - Easily make nice-looking countdowns

And this is just the last two months or so? Also, lots of hardware stuff:

https://www.stavros.io/projects/

3
dmuth 19 hours ago 6 replies      
I built a website which offers real-time statistics for Philadelphia's Regional Rail train system: https://www.septastats.com/

This lets public transit passengers answer questions like:

- "My train is getting later and later, is it actually moving?"

- "My train is getting later and later, has it actually STARTED its journey?" (sometimes the answer is "no", sadly)

- "Is it just my train, or are many trains running late?"

- "What was the on-time performance of this train like yesterday? 2 days ago? 7 days ago?" (Some trains tend to be chronically late)

It may come as a surprise that the backend of the system is actually not a database, but Splunk (http://www.splunk.com). DBs are nice, but Splunk is fantastic when it comes to data analytics and reporting.

I'm currently waiting for Splunk to make some of their machine learning modules available for free so that I can start pulling in weather data, train the machine learning component against both that and the train data, and use that to predict the likelihood of any given train becoming late.

4
jimhefferon 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I write math texts that are Free. It is my creative outlet. My Linear Algebra (http://joshua.smcvt.edu/linearalgebra) has gotten some traction (and I get a small amount of money from Amazon). I also have an Introduction to Proofs: an Inquiry-Based Approach (http://joshua.smcvt.edu/proofs) that I find helps my students, but is in quite a niche area. And I'm working on a Theory of Computation.

If I didn't have some creative work I would be much less happy.

5
martin_drapeau 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Been working on https://www.findyourtennis.com since 2011. Amateur tennis league/tournament management. 3 leagues have been using it recurrently for 3 years here in Montreal. The managers, volunteers, save dozens of hours every season.

Started off as a 'find a tennis partner' forum however getting traction was difficult. Chicken and egg problem. Slowly migrating to solving problems of league and tournament management. Will drop the forum one day. Long transition to do part time.

Now working on a mobile version with cordova. Testing it on the league I am managing. Saves us a lot of time since it automates lots of tasks and avoids the use of Excel.

I don't expect to make money. Market is small and problem is tough to solve. UX intensive. However fun to do on spare time.

My objective is to launch on the app store in 2018. Then I hope lots of leagues around tue world will use to simplify their lives.

6
swimmadude66 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
I built a small website for some old groovshark buddies once that site died where we could meet up, chat, and listen to music together.

Its a collaborative radio, where users queue up songs in playlists, then rotate playing a song off the top of their list for everyone to hear. It was originally built as a stopgap until we found something similar but better, so we called it lifeboat radio. But it's kinda become our permanent home now...

Here's our hosted instance: https://lifeboatradio.com/

And here's the repo if you want to host your own!https://github.com/swimmadude66/YTRadio

Join us in our hosted instance on fridays for "Fuck it Friday" where we play (preferably musical) shit we found from deep in youtube!

7
shove 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm now a partner in a barcade. No chance of making any money any time soon :)
8
superasn 1 day ago 3 replies      
The reason I'm asking this question is because I realized something recently. I've been a programmer all my life. I used to love programming in Delphi, VB :P, Perl, PHP, Javascript, etc since school. I created all sorts of stupid things like Winamp plugins[1], Graphics software[2], Games, etc. It was programming just because i liked making the computer do things for me.

But then somewhere along the line my projects started making me money and then I start reading all these marketing books and my perception changed. Now if I'm creating a site I'm usually more focused on SEO, list building and crippling my software so that I can extract more money from my users. I am making more money but the joy of doing it is gone. I feel bored writing software and generally browse HN and reddit and generally force myself to work.

Maybe it's time to go back to the basics and work on stuff just for sheer joy of doing it :D

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2008/09/27/songrefernce-turns-your-mp...

[2] http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/extreme-article-marketing-conve...

9
ztravis 15 hours ago 1 reply      
http://www.arabicreference.com

I've always wanted a good Arabic root-based dictionary with vowelling, plurals, etc (basically Hans Wehr online). I also wanted the structured dataset for some linguistic "research".

It was a fun project - I built out a web interface for reviewing and updating entries and put in a lot of hours of manual correction (just to get all the entries to validate - I still have a lot more corrections/fixes to make...). I'm a little burnt out on it at the moment, but I plan on:

- fixing those mistakes and a few other bugs

- cleaning up the UI/display

- moving onto a "real" server framework

- writing up some blog posts about those short linguistic investigations I'd like to do now that I have the structured data

- making an API?

Notably lacking is any plan to promote it... I posted it on reddit and I'd love it if people stumble upon it and find it useful, but I did it mostly as a labor of love and something that I personally find useful!

10
raphlinus 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a largish open-source portfolio, including a markdown parser, a regex engine, some music synthesis, and some more researchy stuff like a font renderer and a prototype of concurrent text editing using CRDT's. I'm lucky to be working at Google where I get paid 20% time to work on this, but the motivation is definitely not money.

The biggest item in my portfolio is xi-editor, and I confess I'm wrestling with some of the questions raised in this thread. I think it has the potential to be a serious player in the editor space, with extremely high performance goals (including fast startup and low RAM usage) yet a modern feel. It also has a great little open-source community around it who have been contributing significant features.

Yet it's at the point where it's _almost_ done enough to use for day-to-day editing, and I'm hesitating a bit before pushing it over the line. I think I'm scared of having lots of users. It's also the case that I'm very interested in the engine and the core of the UX, but the complete product needs a plugin ecosystem and along with that ways to discover, upgrade, and curate the plugins (including making sure they are trustworthy, lately a fairly significant concern). That's potentially a huge amount of work, and it doesn't really line up with my interests.

I'm wondering if it's possible to focus on the parts I care about and try to foster the community to take care of the rest, but I'm not quite sure how that would work.

If this were a business and I had some way of making a few coins from every user, then my incentives would be lined up to make the best overall product possible, including the less fun parts. But that's off the table; among other things, there are a number of good free editors out there, and the niche for a better but non-free editor is also well occupied.

Maybe the HN crowd has some ideas?

11
weddpros 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I built https://sslping.com/ to help monitor website TLS/SSL security and certificates. It has 300 users and checks almost 7000 servers every day for TLS problems.

It's a little like SSLlabs server test, only much faster (5 seconds instead of 2 minutes), plus the tests are recurring every day, and you receive the diff if any.

It's always been a joy to receive thank you emails from users, or adding new features for users.

SSLping also allowed me to learn React and Redux. I'm still working on it, adding new features and refactoring what I don't like.

If I ever have to stop hosting it, I'll open source the whole thing. Or maybe I'll open source it anyway. If I could find a deal with a security company, I would work on it fulltime.

I consider it's a success, even if the numbers are not as high as I'd like.

12
CM30 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Wario Forums and absolutely anything else associated with it:

https://warioforums.com

Yeah, I know it's not particularly fancy, nor does it involve any clever coding tricks or interesting features. However, it's literally the only community on the internet dedicated to the series, and one I've decided to run for a minimum of two decades to make sure said franchise finally builds a decent fanbase.

Is it going to make money?

Probably not, given how the franchise it's based on sells about 2 million copies worldwide at most, and hasn't gotten a new game since either 2013 (WarioWare) or 2008 (Wario Land).

But it's one with a passionate audience that up until recently had nowhere online to discuss the series nor anywhere specifically dedicated to their favourite franchise. So I decided to change that by setting up and promoting a community based on it, with the guarantee I'd keep it open for decades in the hope that eventually a community at least the size of the Earthbound one comes about here. With the hope that eventually I won't need to run the forum because there'll be enough sites about it to sustain a decent fandom.

13
t0mek 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Yet another Game Boy Color emulator, written in Java:

https://github.com/trekawek/coffee-gb

It's quite compatible and brought me a lot of fun. Blog post describing it:

http://blog.rekawek.eu/2017/02/09/coffee-gb/

14
thsealienbstrds 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been working on `moncat`, a tool that concatenates e-mails.

It's very 'Unix-y' in the sense that it's supposed to do this and only this.

I created it because I wanted to have a way to make notes without being dependent on apps. With moncat, I can use any e-mail client to incrementally create larger text files.

Currently, I'm using it to write a journal in Markdown that is automatically converted to HTML. How that works: I e-mail journal entries to myself, put them in a mailbox folder, and periodically compile the journal using a cronjob.

moncat accepts some basic commands that you can put in the subject line of the e-mail. For example, you can reorder items to be concatenated. It also handles attachments and nested folders.

...

Yeah.. so there is no documentation and the code is pretty shit, since I'm the only one using it. The upside is that the code is also pretty small (around 350 LOC Python in total).

So, just in case anyone is looking for a tool like this... here you go! ;)

https://www.pastery.net/xysbyq+juprcp/#xysbyq

15
abhisuri97 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
A chrome extension to help visually impaired individuals see images http://abhinavsuri.com/aat
16
grecy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I created, run and maintain http://wikioverland.org, the community encyclopedia of overland travel

It's a wiki of all the info you need to drive your own vehicle around a country, continent or the world.

Border crossings, paperwork, insurance, gas prices, camping, drinking water, safety... it's all in there for a massive number of countries in the world.

I'm driving around myself, and it occured to me there is so much info out there but it all slides off the front pages of blogs and forums or is buried in facebook posts. Every three months people re-write and re-post the same stuff because they couldn't find it in the first place. The idea is not for WikiOverland to contain all the info, but at least link directly to it.

17
megamindbrian 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Working on managing Angular code using jupyter notebooks similar to Airbnb and their react-atom design flow? I think I got that right, they blogged about it but I never saw any code from it.
18
xiaq 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
A Unix shell that hopefully sucks less than more traditional shells: https://github.com/elves/elvish
19
tomcam 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Hope I don't get flagged or anything. I am astounded by the generosity of the amazing people on this page and have been upvoting like a madman. I probably look like a bot at this point
20
purescript 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I work on the PureScript (http://purescript.org) compiler, tools, libraries and book in my spare time (along with many other unpaid contributors), because it's the programming language I wished had existed when I started creating it. It's still the closest thing to a perfect environment for web development, at least as far as I'm concerned :)
21
dzenos 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Building https://tuiqo.com to try and solve a document versioning problem. We realized that even though we created a new way to do document version control and avoid "v1.doc, v2.doc, final_final.doc" problem; people won't switch to it because of lack of options such as formatting tools or any other pure editor features. We are thinking of possible pivots we could try out and we obviously don't have a product-market fit.
22
gadgetoid 15 hours ago 3 replies      
https://pinout.xyz

A somewhat interactive GPIO pinout for the Raspberry Pi.

Not so much out of sheer joy, but because I needed it.

It started as a basic way to explore each pin and its available alt-functions.

Listings of add-on board pinouts were added later for people who want to use multiple boards- or perhaps connect them to a different host.

23
snickerbockers 17 hours ago 2 replies      
For almost a year, I've been writing a SEGA Dreamcast emulator called WashingtonDC. It's slow and it doesn't play any games yet, but it can boot the firmware menu and display the animated "spiral swirl" logo. https://github.com/washingtondc-emu/washingtondc
24
aroc 10 hours ago 1 reply      
http://www.get-jumper.com/

A way to motivate people (including myself) to exercise with a chat bot that tracks your progress.

Originally built it to track how often I worked out, and if I didn't, what the reason was and have that reported back to me regularly. Now I have a bunch of people using it, but as you can imagine, makes me zero dollars. Well, technically it costs me money so it makes me negative dollars.

25
codeplea 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a lot of projects like that!

https://f5bot.com - Social media monitoring. It can email you when your keyword (e.g. company name) appears on Hacker News or Reddit. I don't have any plans to monetize it. I just made it as a small fun project.

Also, like many here, I've made a bunch of open source software for no reason other than the joy of it. Don't ever see that changing. https://github.com/codepleahttps://github.com/tulipcharts

26
JulianLoehr 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
"HID Wiimote" [0] a Windows device driver for the Nintendo Wii Remote & Wii U Pro Controller. Started as my Bachelor's thesis and am still working on it every now and then.

[0] https://www.julianloehr.de/educational-work/hid-wiimote/

27
kroltan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
http://atmosphir.com/

Atmosphir is a 3D platformer where users create levels and play levels created by others, with diverse assets and tools.

We made a community game server that aims to restore playability to the game, since most of it required online to properly function. (user profiles, equipment and sharing levels).

It is even endorsed by the devs, who kindly redirected the original domain name to our website.

28
beilabs 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Late arrival to this thread. One of my projects involve working with local female co-operatives in Nepal and help them sell their hand made products around the world. Paypal doesn't operate here, merchant services for international cards are impossible to get. They don't understand technology in any way and there is a lot of hand holding.

The site is https://www.pasatrade.com

We make no money off of this, I operate it at a loss, but each and every sale gets more money back to the women who really need it; a few extra dollars here and there can really make a huge difference in Nepal. The interesting part is they make more money on each sale through us than they do locally or selling through Fair Trade channels.

29
m52go 17 hours ago 2 replies      
100 Million Books -- mission is to promote intellectual diversity.

It's a Chrome extension/homepage that shows you a new book every time you open a new tab, plus a special hand-picked idea that teaches you a new perspective/fact/concept.

I'm evaluating a couple different paths to make it profitable, but it's not currently making anything since Amazon cut me off its affiliate program.

http://www.100millionbooks.org

30
apankrat 18 hours ago 0 replies      
A networking IO abstraction library in C - https://github.com/apankrat/tcp-striper

Based around an idea of IO pipes with minimal semantics (duplex, reliable, ordered) that they can then extend to implement other traits like IO buffering, atomic send, packetization, compression, encryption, etc. [1]

This then allows merging together pipes of different types (by attaching the output of one to the input of another), which combines their traits and yields, for example, a reliable datagram carrier with in-flight compression.

With this it also becomes possible to write a simple IO bridge [2] that relays both data _and_ operational state between two pipes. The bridge in turn can be used to implement all sorts of interesting things, e.g. proper TCP relay, SSL tunneling proxy, TCP trunking proxy, etc.

[1] https://github.com/apankrat/tcp-striper/blob/master/src/io/i...

[2] https://github.com/apankrat/tcp-striper/blob/master/src/io/i...

31
chubot 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm building a new Unix shell called Oil: http://www.oilshell.org/

It's definitely not making me any money. I would say the motivation is a little bit "joy" / learning, but also frustration that shells are so old, unintuitive, and work so poorly.

I've been going for about 16 months and it's still fun, so that's good. I think that seeing progress is what make things fun.

32
jtruk 16 hours ago 3 replies      
130 Story - a daily microfiction challenge.

https://www.130story.com/

I started this as a Twitter game a few years ago; it felt like a compact idea with a good hook. Earlier this year I automated it- so it picks its own words and collates the stories on the website itself (mostly successfully).

It doesn't have a big following, but the people who play are passionate about it. Some people play every day, and the most prolific author has written ~650 of them.

I've seen people get better as writers, some experimental stuff (like an improvised longform story built over many daily prompts), and occasionally I see a microstory that knocks it out the park. That makes it worthwhile.

33
apancik 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I made Plain Email [0] just because I couldn't find any email client with clean work flow without distractions. I use it pretty much every day. Thinking about open sourcing it - just can't find the time to refractor it nicely.

I also built news aggregator 10HN [1] with throttling (ten best articles every morning and every evening). I use it daily and it helped to fight my procrastination a lot. It's also interesting to watch the data how stories evolve and get popularity.

[0] http://www.plainemail.com/[1] http://10hn.pancik.com

34
cknight 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I built https://suitocracy.com very slowly over the last few years. It is for collating information on the ethical conduct of large corporations, as well as rating and ranking them on various criteria.

It'll never make money, but it has been a good project for me to modernise my web development skills which had gone rusty over the preceding decade. I also took the opportunity to learn NGINX and a few other things that I hadn't really been exposed to beforehand.

35
edhelas 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Movim, a social network project built on XMPP https://movim.eu/. I'm working on it for 9 years already and starting to have a nice little community using it daily.

I'm really enjoying developing Movim on my free time because I'm still motivated to show the world that we can have decent social-networks and IM solutions by using existing standard protocols (and not proprietary silos like today).

36
jjjensen90 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I run/develop/manage a private MMOARPG game server for a dead game called Hellgate: London that we call London 2038. You can see more about it here http://london2038.com

Not only do I not make money on the project, it actually costs me money! :)

I have seemingly undying motivation to work on it, knock out bugs, release patches, catch cheaters, etc. The community being so active and excited helps keep me going. I probably spend 30-40 hours of week on the project.

Edit: grammar

37
TamDenholm 19 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm grumpy, i dont like christmas: http://whychristmasisbullshit.com/
38
vanderZwan 19 hours ago 2 replies      
It doesn't have to be a full project, right? Do random drive-by PR-requests to open-source projects count?

A few months ago I ended up scratching an optimisation itch for weeks, trying to figure out ways to make the lz-string[0][1] library faster and smaller. Near the end I went a bit nuts with trying out what works, methinks (nested trees built out of arrays and such), but I had a lot of fun.

It's not even my library, nor did my PR request get accepted/rejected yet. It did however make the compression up to 2x to 10x faster, depending on how well the data compresses.

And hey, I now have an intuitive understanding of LZ compression that I never thought I'd have!

Since a few days I've been working on writing a component for idyll[2] that lets you embed p5js sketches[3]. Progress here[4][5].

[0] http://pieroxy.net/blog/pages/lz-string/index.html

[1] https://github.com/pieroxy/lz-string/pull/98

[2] https://idyll-lang.github.io/

[3] https://p5js.org/

[4] https://github.com/idyll-lang/idyll/issues/117

[5] https://jobleonard.github.io/idyll-p5/

39
nfriedly 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Everything to do with cryptocurrency! I wrote trading bot that was actually making a small profit - and then the exchange got hacked and took all of my coins & dollars with it :(

I've started to get into Ethereum and Solidity recently, but mining even a few coins just to have gas money costs more in electricity than they're worth. I'm letting my desktop mine anyways, but when I reach my pools payout threshold in a week or two (it's got a 3-year-old GPU), I'll probably kill the mining. (I know I could just buy some ETH with USD, but that's probably even more expensive and somehow feels different.)

(To be fair it hasn't been all negative - I bought a copy of the game Portal with the first bitcoin I ever earned, and a Kindle with the second bitcoin. But looking at it from a strictly money perspective, I'm definitely in the hole. In theory, it will be positive eventually.. but I'm still not sure exactly how.)

40
dogas 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I built + maintain todolist[1] which is a GTD-style task management app for the command line. It's getting a bit of traction now which is pretty fun. It got a ton of upvotes on Product Hunt which was really cool to see[2].

I have very loose plans to monetize via a paid subscription for syncing with other devices / phones, but there will always bee a free / open source version as well.

[1]: http://todolist.site

[2]: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/todolist

41
rayalez 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I occasionally create digital art:

https://www.artstation.com/artist/rayalez

and make video tutorials about it:

https://www.youtube.com/digitalverse

Computer graphics is still by far the most fun hobby I've ever had, I absolutely love it, it's like the most engaging computer game you can imagine times 100.

There's not much profit in making art(unless you want to do it professionally), but it's an awesome way to spend my free time, and sometimes it generates some ideas I like to share on youtube.

If you want to get into it, I highly recommend checking out SideFX Houdini. It's a bit technical, but extremely powerful and well designed 3D software, kinda like emacs of CG applications.

42
nikivi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on a community curated search engine to learn anything most optimally :

https://learn-anything.xyz/

Everything is open source and is MIT licensed, both the search engine and the entire database it searches over.

There are however many things that we can still do to take this idea further. Hopefully more people join to help us with that. :)

43
everling 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Film nerd, want to trace inspiration between different works. Some find it useful, but I haven't bothered monetizing it in any way.

Currently reworking the scoring algorithm, will probably replace the awful UI at some point too.

http://www.cinetrii.com

44
domainkiller 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Nomie! https://nomie.io The easiest way to track any aspect of your life.
45
anfractuosity 1 day ago 1 reply      
A few of mine:

https://www.anfractuosity.com/projects/painting-a-christmas-... - 'painting' the LEDs on my christmas tree.

https://www.anfractuosity.com/projects/optical-magnetic-stri... - optically decoding data from magnetic stripe cards.

https://www.anfractuosity.com/projects/zymeter-simple/ - a rather unsuccessful attempt at measuring specific gravity.

https://github.com/anfractuosity/musicplayer - playing .wav files via RF emissions from a laptop.

46
GenKali 8 hours ago 1 reply      
NextTrain: https://www.nextrain.co.za

We have a fledgling train system in the Gauteng area of South Africa (this area includes Johannesburg and Pretoria). However, the only way to see train schedules is via a PDF (2MB) buried deep on their website.

This was a quick weekend hack to show when the next train is for each of the stations, and some additional info.

47
cozuya 13 hours ago 2 replies      
My web adaptation of the social deduction board game Secret Hitler: https://secrethitler.io

Pretty fun, don't get to do much back end stuff so its a learning process. Its creative commons so can't make $ off it but the $10/month digital ocean box is doing fine. About 100 players on at peak and always games going.

48
neya 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is my current project: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14785209. It's too long to describe in a sentence, but, it's essentially what I call it the mother of all software (internally). I created it out of pure annoyance towards many of the popular services such as Wordpress, MailChimp, Hubspot, Shopify, Unbounce who had screwed up some aspect of their tools. So, in essence this is a combination of all those softwares under one roof.

Here are some things you can do with this software:

1) Research your market, find out your target audience

2) Integrate with analytics tools and understand your users

3) Automate your marketing strategies

4) Maintain a central data warehouse

5) Maintain multi-domain content properties such as blogs, websites, news portals, etc.

6) Host online trainings, build a student list

7) Etc. (read the link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14785209)

I've been working on it over 3 years now, while trying to jump from one web framework to another. Finally, I've settled down on Phoenix. This project alone has helped me learn so many programming languages and also helped me gain more experience as a programmer in general, while simultaneously being able to integrate new tools and platforms into my pipeline - This is how I learned React, VueJS, Brunch, Google Cloud, etc.

At the moment, I've built this only for myself, just to support and test out my startup ideas. I am thinking of open-sourcing it at some point, at least the core functionality.

But as of now, there's nothing else I enjoy doing on a weekend than working on this project :) (also why I'm still single)

49
albahk 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Free OpenStreetMap Data extracts (be kind, it is a rushed POC at the moment)

http://propdata.io

I have created a free site containing extracts from OpenStreetMap data. Unlike the metro extracts sites (Geofabrik, Mapzen), my goal is to extract specific datasets such as buildings, schools, hospitals, fast food restaurants etc from OSM rather than standard map/gis data.

My overall goal is to make the extracts available, and then to encourage people who use them and get value to actively update OSM to improve the quality of the data they are interested in. By doing this, the overall quality and coverage of data in OSM should (in theory) be improved.

50
monkey_slap 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Working on a GitHub iOS app to make managing GitHub projects easier. Fun part is now that it's shipped I'm using it to manage itself.

https://github.com/rnystrom/Freetime

Turning this into more of a social experiment now, seeing where he community wants to take this. Publishing download reports and stuff.

Even made a landing page.

http://freetime-app.com/

51
reagent 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I built this dead-simple "image enhancing" app (http://en.hance.me) to focus in on potentially embarrassing details in photos. It allows you to specify a zoom area and create a 4-panel stacked image that progressively "zooms in" on your target area.
52
mimming 13 hours ago 0 replies      
http://dinopacks.com

I fill out those 'other comments' on order forms with a request for a dinosaur drawing.

53
victormours 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For the past year and a half, I've been organizing the Paris Ruby Workshop with a friend of mine. It's a monthly meetup where everyone is welcome to come and pair program on small katas, and chit chat over some pizza. It's free to attend so we don't make any money out of it.

It's always fun to meet people that we might not have talked to otherwise, since a lot of attendees are beginners who come from non-engineering backgrounds. And it's also a pretty good feeling at the end of the evening when people tell you they had a good time and learned of to program a little bit better.

I also found it surprisingly easy to setup : grab a few katas from exercism.io, create a group on meetup.com and find a local startup willing to host and provide free pizza in exchange for a bit of visibility in the community, and you're good to go.

54
Insanity 4 hours ago 0 replies      
All of my side-projects, and my blog. None of the side projects are that popular (few github stars, max is like 19 stars and that is technically just a blogpost..)

But I don't mind, I am doing them for the sheer fun of it. I get to hack around with fun things and feel good about solving some problem. I get much of the same joy from the job I am doing now, so I feel less guilty about not having as much time for side projects as I used to.

Some things I've done/am-doing for for the sheer joy of it:- Pong for the Gameboy Advance- Java Swing 'framework' (Just started to be honest)- Python text editor

For my blog I mess around with other things such as:- Sending keystrokes to Minecraft to 'cheat' (this was years ago)- Dynamically building a GUI based on Model classes in Java (reflection hacks)- Scraping webcomic sites to store the comics locally

But, as long as you are having fun, what does it really matter what you do :-)

55
xeo84 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Touchboard: http://www.timelabs.io/touchboard Open source app for iPad to send keys to your pc / mac. I use it for gaming, I really find it useful, here is a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1KOUj9SK_c

I've also made CbrConverter: https://github.com/timefrancesco/cbr-converter

Coverts pdf to cbr and vice versa.

And then there are a bunch of other small projects like:

- Ebay Search Scheduler (schedule Ebay searches with custom parameters)

- Twitter Time Machine (download and browse your twitter timeline) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweet-time-machine-2/id83212... - windows version also available

- Autosleep (put the windows down for good) https://github.com/timefrancesco/autosleep

And many others I really enjoyed making and using.

56
thewhitetulip 2 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/thewhitetulip/web-dev-golang-anti-textboo...

Stopped making money for me a long time ago. I don't have a computer to update the tutorial sadly, since my macbook crashed, screen flickering after 1.5yrs. But I love the project.

I also have a youtube channel which gives me sheer joy.

58
LukeB42 6 hours ago 0 replies      
1. http://index.psybernetics.org A news archival service.Built on a Golang implementation of another project. Intending to open source the backend once it's mature. It's been running in production for around a year but the underlying httpd now either needs vendoring or the code sat on top of it needs updating.

2. https://github.com/lukeb42/emissary The first news archival service I wrote. Went through a couple of iterations. Not too happy with the multi-process model under the hood though.

3. http://github.com/lukeb42/psyrcd This has been running in production for a couple of years. The scripting system was recently overhauled and we're using it instead of Consul or NATS for message bussing and service discovery at work (I technically get paid to make sure this is production-quality but it's not consuming time at the moment). It'd be nice to use the plugin system to implement a MUD as a channel mode that generated the world via numpy-based LSTM network.

4. https://github.com/psybernetics/synchrony A peer-to-peer caching proxy. Currently working towards a C implementation of this before dedicating time to the other projects in this post.

59
lawrencewu 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I created Juicebox, which lets you listen to youtube/soundcloud songs with other people: https://www.juicebox.dj/

I have made no money off of this. In fact, I've probably paid hundreds in hosting/domain fees. But I love what I've built so far and use it everyday with my friends. Please check it out, I'd love to hear any feedback!

60
overcast 19 hours ago 2 replies      
https://kidisms.com

Sharing funny kid quotes.

Been going for years, not a whole lot of traffic, but the family loves it (that was the intention). Recently migrated from a severely aging kohana/mysql backend to express/rethinkdb.

61
jetti 16 hours ago 0 replies      
All of my Elixir open source projects:

 * Plsm - https://github.com/jhartwell/Plsm - which is an Ecto model generator based on existing schemas * Taex - https://github.com/jhartwell/Taex - A technical Analysis library for Elixir. 
I'm also in the process of writing a GDAX (https://gdax.com) Elixir library but won't open source that until it is more complete. I'm using that and Taex in a cryptocurrency algo trading platform I'm developing.

62
yogthos 23 hours ago 1 reply      
63
laktak 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I started http://hjson.org as a JSON for humans interface but I constantly run into the "I love it but I'll wait until it's used by more people" problem.
64
preinheimer 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Global Ping Statistics - https://wondernetwork.com/pingsWe have ~240 servers world wide, we get them all to ping each other every hour, and record the results.

We've been generating them for years, they're a pain to store, we've made $0 with it. But I really like the data we're getting. We recently moved a lot of the legacy data into S3 to save our own backup & restore process ( https://wonderproxy.com/blog/moving-ping-data-to-s3/ )

65
CiPHPerCoder 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Virtually everything in the paragonie namespace on Packagist generates zero revenue, but we built and maintain them because we want to make the PHP ecosystem more secure by default.

https://packagist.org/packages/paragonie

66
expertentipp 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Dead simple personal website in Python and plain JavaScript with contact form, URL shortener, private bookmarks, etc. It's my own territory and I do what I want! fuck unit tests, fuck linters, fuck commit messages length limit, fuck your newest web framework, fuck transpilers, fuck pull requests.
67
logikblok 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I made a things while back using IFTT and Reddit very low maintenance but it brings me joy. http://www.putyouinabettermood.com/
68
kaivi 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm hoarding profile data diffs from a well known social network. Been crawling every single user for the past 2 years and saving the changes. Had to stop doing it last month, after storage costs became too much.
69
teapot7 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess I do ask for money for this, but it's pretty overengineered and I wrote it knowing that nobody wanted or needed it:

Long ago, when Sun workstations were new and exciting, I wrote a simple Roman numeral digital clock, which just showed the time in Roman numerals.

My friend, instead of admiring my cleverness, said "But that's not how the Romans told the time" - which is true. The Roman day started at dawn and finished at sunset, which meant that day and night length were different every single day, as well as in cities at different latitudes.

Several decades later I did something about it, and wrote it up as a mobile app which showed either the modern time or optionally the Roman time.

Then I made it use the Roman calendar, where you don't have individually numbered days of the month, but count instead how many days until the next Kalends (start of the month), Nones (fifth or seventh day) or Nones (thirteenth or fifteenth day), even if it occurs in the next month.

Then I thought I might as well go all the way, and spent more money than I would ever earn from it on having the help text translated into Latin, just in case any ancient Roman time travellers wanted to use it.

A waste of time and money, but one which made me happy.

http://www.teapot7.com/roman-clock-app/

70
armis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Many small and bigger adventures like:

https://github.com/ziogas/cmdwrap - Command line/shell wrapper to a web interface. Basically forward any shell command to a nodejs-bootstrap powered web input and track its output.

https://github.com/ziogas/easyembed - Micro framework optimized for embedding small independent apps into legacy php systems.

https://github.com/ziogas/PHP-Redis-implementation - Php redis wrapper focused into simplicity with almost zero abstractions and future-proof.

https://github.com/ziogas/pomodoro-must - Google Chrome extension helping you to stay in pomodoro mode.

https://www.statsglitch.com/ - Receive notifications from Google Analytics whenever happened statistically significant spike or drop in your traffic.

71
kapuru 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Created Unfollow (https://www.unfollow.io) because I wanted to know who unfollowed me on Twitch. Not a noble reason. But now that I don't stream anymore I just do it because it's so much fun and I don't care about unfollowers anymore. Lots of people use it which motivates me. It's free, but I'm looking for monetization strategies.
72
jesses 16 hours ago 1 reply      
https://gigalixir.com After falling in love with Elixir, Phoenix, Ecto, etc I built this to help increase Elixir adoption by solving the biggest pain point I saw: deploying.
73
spondyl 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm building a wiki for a little known South Korean mobile game I enjoy and it's fun both learning how to manage and build a Mediawiki install.

It's also a great excuse to suck up all the lore and properly analyse character conversations and what not!

Now I just gotta see if I can get some official looking art renders authorised for release from the devs since a press kit was never released

74
dumbfounder 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Twicsy (Twitter picture search) still gets around 1.5 million visitors per month, but nets no money. But I wouldn't call it sheer joy though, maybe sheer stubbornness?

http://twicsy.com

75
atomashpolskiy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, I've developed a full-featured BitTorrent library in Java: https://github.com/atomashpolskiy/bt/blob/master/README.md#-... . It was very warmly received by HN folks

It was VERY surprising for me to find out that one of the most popular programming languages offers little variety in terms of BT libs/clients. For a long time, if one needed advanced options like DHT or protocol encryption, his only choice would be jlibtorrent (JNI wrapper for the well-known C++ library). Well, not anymore :)

76
kvz 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm writing a bot for cryptotrading without having the proper knowledge for something like that. Learning as I go and I expect to lose some money on this (certainly won't give it a budget to manage that I can't afford to lose), but I'm having a ton of fun entertaining the fantasy that I could 'game the system' with my bot
77
joelennon 23 hours ago 1 reply      
https://programmingpodcasts.com - it's a directory of software dev and related podcasts. Haven't ruled out monetising it and to be honest maintenance is almost zero as it runs on autopilot. I'm it's biggest user, use it everyday.
78
kyletns 14 hours ago 1 reply      
https://www.groupmuse.com now envelopes my entire life :) We have starting making a bit of money, finally, but not much and it sure ain't why we've been at it for 5 years!
79
Lerc 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Sheer joy is an interesting term. I like making things but I don't think that is my primary motivater for _what_ I make.

Most of my free stuff is because I think the things should exist and they are things that shouldn't have to be paid for.

Some things are just plain geek fun

https://github.com/Lerc/stackie - Makes textures using a very compact stack machine language

https://github.com/Lerc/kwak-8 - Emulator for an 8-bit computer that never existed

Some things I wanted to have exist

https://github.com/Lerc/smallcalc - A compact pop-up calculator for the Cinnamon Desktop

https://github.com/Lerc/plops - (old) A lightweight Desktop widget engine that I made when I developing for 256-512mb boxes/

https://github.com/Lerc/whio - A Javascript canvas rendering lib for beginner programmers using Globaly avalilable functions + mediaWiki plugin to run in a worker.

http://fingswotidun.com/code - A wiki usisng the plugin from the entry above. Has some introduction to programming javasctipt tutorials.

And the mad project that I come back to every couple of years to push a bit further along.

https://github.com/Lerc/notanos - A html/js login deskop for Linux.

And a lot of games.

Here's a silly one http://screamingduck.com/Lerc/LD13.html

Here's a really hard one http://www.screamingduck.com/Lerc/LD14.html

And here's one that might give your browser a hernia http://fingswotidun.com/ld21/

80
dkarp 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I made and maintain https://transparentmetric.com/

I find it fascinating watching the changes made to news articles over time. It lets you get into the mind of the various journalists and editors at different news organisations and see how they react to things. I just wish I had more time to develop it further.

81
epx 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Morse code player: https://epxx.co/morse

Koch method to learn Morse: https://epxx.co/morse/koch.html

82
bcruddy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/bcruddy/taco - a create-react-app + redux + express boilerplate. It currently grabs pricing data for BTC, ETH, and LTC and I mostly put it together for myself about a month ago.

https://github.com/bcruddy/GramLikeCam - my Panthers' fan friends seem to enjoy it. Initially I wanted to write a bot that would grab new instagram posts from Cam Newton and translate the weird characters he uses into plain english and post it as the first comment but ended up going pretty much the opposite direction.

https://github.com/bcruddy/tumbo - a very unpolished ascii video chat to play with websockets and string compression, I'll occasionally check out the website and see someone live streaming a day in the office.

83
donohoe 15 hours ago 0 replies      
https://article.rocks

This is my swipable curated news feed. I only tested it on my iPhone 6, bookmarked to Homescreen. Outside of that your experience might vary.

I've been redoing it every few months for the past 3 or 4 years. At one point it included summation text and opened inline AMP links for articles that had them.

It's an automated curation of content I like and includes some basic sentiment analysis and popularity metrics.

The content is interspersed with a custom ad template just for fun. When there is enough content it includes mediative looping gifs/video.

It scrapes content, rewrites headlines, throws images through random filters to good/bad/artful effect.

This is my entire morning subway commute.

(Feedback always welcome)

84
kadirayk 23 hours ago 1 reply      
http://apimockery.com/ - API Mocking as a Service

I built it to learn React and brush up my Go skills. I occasionally add new features.

It makes $0 now, but I plan to earn 10$ a month before my amazon free tier expires :)

85
jrm2k6 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I started working on iparklikeadumbass.com. The idea is for me to upload pictures of people parking like idiots, blur the license plate and just have it out there. I know I wont make any money of it but it is a good way of preventing road/parking raging.
15
The Google memo isnt sexist or anti-diversity, its science theglobeandmail.com
578 points by 20100thibault  2 days ago   611 comments top
1
Ajedi32 2 days ago 11 replies      
Not much new here. This article is essentially just re-affirming all the scientific statements that were already made in the original memo, backed by links to scientific studies.

Only difference being that the author of this article has a PhD in sexual neuroscience (so people might have a harder time accusing her of not knowing what she's talking about) and is female (so some people might have a harder time of accusing her of sexism).

16
Why GitHub Can't Host the Linux Kernel Community ffwll.ch
379 points by okket  1 day ago   228 comments top 22
1
clarkevans 1 day ago 3 replies      
As I understand, Daniel Vetter is proposing a "monotree" as a source code control pattern where a monorepo (and its branches) is not the primary place where development is done, but is rather where works are integrated from subordinate repositories. In particular, he's asking for GitHub to support coordination (issues and pull requests) spanning upstream repositories that are indicated by a particular change request.

I was hoping to see discussion of the merits of this proposal here on HN... not a regurgitation of Torvalds' positions and personal demeanor. What other projects use a monotree? does it work well? How do those projects coordinate changes across subordinate repositories?

2
jacquesm 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm fine with that. Github is 'too large to fail' already, adding the Linux kernel to the pile and forcing the kernel team into Github's workflow are two big negatives. It would be great for Github but bad for everybody else.
3
snakeanus 1 day ago 6 replies      
I can't really see the obsession that everyone has with centralised and closed services like github. We need to start moving away from them, not move more projects to them. Mailing lists and NNTP make decentralisation quite easy while being open standards and without having the need to have any account in any centralised service, why drop all these features away?
4
mi100hael 1 day ago 4 replies      
There's also Linus's personal aversion to how GitHub implements many opinionated workflows.

 > I don't do github pull requests. > > github throws away all the relevant information, like having even a > valid email address for the person asking me to pull. The diffstat is > also deficient and useless. > > Git comes with a nice pull-request generation module, but github > instead decided to replace it with their own totally inferior version. > As a result, I consider github useless for these kinds of things. It's > fine for hosting, but the pull requests and the online commit > editing, are just pure garbage. > > I've told github people about my concerns, they didn't think they > mattered, so I gave up. Feel free to make a bugreport to github.
https://github.com/torvalds/linux/pull/17#issuecomment-56546...

5
mmagin 1 day ago 3 replies      
I imagine after the Bitkeeper fiasco, Linus and others are disinclined to become dependent on a proprietary service.
6
mpd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Frankly, I think the Linux kernel is too important to even consider subjecting itself to the Github T&C, community guidelines, etc.
7
liaukovv 1 day ago 5 replies      
This font gave me a headacheWhy not write with white on white? It would be so stylish
8
monorepoman 1 day ago 2 replies      
Lost me at "And lots of people learned that monorepos are really painful, because past a certain size they just stop scaling." Plenty of counterexamples of monorepo projects much larger than Linux kernel.
9
ericfrederich 1 day ago 2 replies      
Someone desperately needs to come up with an open source replacement for GitHub that is completely decentralized. Sure GitLab exists and the repo is decentralized since it's Git, but issues, merge requests, comments, etc aren't Git based (though they could be)
10
hyperion2010 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is another overview of how the kernel uses git and why no emails is simply not possible (or sensible). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyenmLqJQjs
11
tomschlick 1 day ago 1 reply      
The kernel seems better suited to something like Phabricator instead of Github. Keep Github simple and clean for our "normal" projects.
12
taeric 1 day ago 1 reply      
I actually really like the MAINTAINERS file. Keeps the metadata literally in the repository and doesn't rely on an external system.
13
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there some similar reason why Debian doesn't use more convenient bug tracking system that would allow a Web frontend?

I don't mind periodically using reportbug, but using something like Bugzilla is way more convenient.

14
TheChosen 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I love using GitHub, but there is an established process and home for the kernel that works and I see no reason to change it.
15
vbernat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not mentioned in the article, but work is also coordinated by maintainers with the use of patchwork. For example, for the network subsystem: http://patchwork.ozlabs.org/project/netdev/list/. This enables tracking the status of a patch and not loose them.
16
IceDane 1 day ago 0 replies      
This website is completely fucking unreadable on mobile. But hey, at least it's stylish or something.
17
web007 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Please support pull requests and issue tracking spanning different repos of a monotree.

Issue tracking you can already file against one or more repos and link them together. It's not ideal, but it'll do the job.

Is "pr against different repos of a monotree" not what submodules let you do? Update whatever things you want in whatever repos, and pull the submodule pointer update(s) as a single change in your monotree repo.

18
mcs_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Like pull requests, issues can be relevant for multiple repos, and might need to be moved around

Not sure about the Linux kernel (no enough experience) but same issue across multiple projects looks something necessary...

19
feelin_googley 1 day ago 1 reply      
Off-topic:

Why does this blog need to be whitelisted with Adblock Plus? See data-adblockkey in HTML source. Are there any ads in this page? (Maybe owner wants revenue from domain parking?)

Why is this blog not working with simple user agents that do not process javascript (e.g., curl, etc.)?

20
Boothroid 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ugh that font is unreadable on my phone.
21
linkmotif 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh wow, the MAINTAINERS file is a work of art: https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/lin...
22
hgdsraj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can we get a trade on this font, gosh it's bad. Color and weight both need to be increased. Seriously #00000 on #FFFFF makes life easy with a font weight of at least 400
17
The world in which IPv6 was a good design apenwarr.ca
447 points by dbenamy  11 hours ago   136 comments top 26
1
hueving 7 hours ago 2 replies      
>They have to be special, because an IP node has to be able to transmit them before it has an IP address, which is of course impossible, so it just fills the IP headers with essentially nonsense

Not nonsense! The global IP broadcast is specified as 255.255.255.255 and is used by other protocols. The source IP address for the initial discovery is indeed 0.0.0.0, which is not intuitive, but the rest of the DHCP exchange is handled with real IP addresses like normal IP traffic. DHCP is very much an IP protocol (see DHCP relay for how it transits IP networks).

>Actually, RARP worked quite fine and did the same thing as bootp and DHCP while being much simpler, but we don't talk about that.

Ugh, come on! RARP doesn't provide you with a route to get out of the network or other extremely useful things like a DNS server.

>and DHCP, which is an IP packet but is really an ethernet protocol, and so on.

No, it's not an ethernet protocol. It's a layer-3 address assignment protocol that runs inside of IP, which is normally encapsulated in ethernet frames. You can have a remote DHCP server running any arbitrary L2 non-ethernet protocol and if it receives a relayed DHCP request it will reply with IP unicast perfectly fine with no ethernet involved.

2
hueving 7 hours ago 1 reply      
>In truth, that really is just complicating things. Now your operating system has to first look up the ethernet address of 192.168.1.1, find out it's 11:22:33:44:55:66, and finally generate a packet with destination ethernet address 11:22:33:44:55:66 and destination IP address 10.1.1.1. 192.168.1.1 is just a pointless intermediate step.

This is completely wrong, it's not pointless.

First, this can be used to easily swap out routers in a network without reconfiguring any clients or even incurring downtime. Without the intermediary gateway IP representation, this would mean you would either have to spoof the MAC on the second router or reconfigure all of the clients to point to the new gateway.

Second, ethernet addresses are a layer-2 construct and IP routes are a layer 3 construct. Your default gateway is a layer-3 route to 0.0.0.0/0. There are protocols for exchanging layer-3 routes like BGP/RIP/etc that should not have to know anything about the layer-2 addressing scheme to provide the next-hop address.

Third, routers still need to have an IP address on the subnet anyway to originate ICMP messages (e.g. TTL expired, MTU exceeded, etc).

Fourth, ARP is still necessary even for the router itself to know how to take incoming IP traffic from the outside and actually forward it to the appropriate device on the local network. Otherwise you would have to statically configure a mapping of local IP addresses to MAC addresses on the router.

So ARP is critical for separation of concerns between L2 and L3. We don't live in an ethernet-only world.

>excessive ARP starts becoming one of your biggest nightmares. It's especially bad on wifi.

Broadcast can become a nightmare. Excessive ARP is a drop in the bucket compared to other discovery crap that computers spew onto networks.

The pattern of most computers now is to communicate with the external world (from the LAN perspective) and not much else. So on a network of 1000 computers (an already excessively large broadcast domain), your ARP traffic is going to be a couple of thousand ARP messages every few hours. If this is taking down your WiFi network, you have much bigger problems considering all of those are about a modern webpage load of traffic.

3
djrogers 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
> In truth, that really is just complicating things. Now your operating system has to first look up the ethernet address of 192.168.1.1, find out it's 11:22:33:44:55:66, and finally generate a packet with destination ethernet address 11:22:33:44:55:66 and destination IP address 10.1.1.1. 192.168.1.1 is just a pointless intermediate step.

Bollocks. The abstraction allowed by using an IP address instead of a MAC address is essential, considering that IP addresses are dynamic (even when statically configures, devices can and do get replaced) and MAC adresses are set at the factory. Can you imagine updating the routing table of every device in your network because you had to replace a core router and the MAC address was different? Its the equivalent of publishing your website on an IP address instead of a DNS hostname...

* yes, I know MAC addresses can be configured by software in many devices, but thats even more of a hack than using arp to determine a MAC address.

4
Animats 9 hours ago 3 replies      
What he's really arguing for is a circuit-switched network, so that connections can be persistent over moves. He just needs a unique connection ID.

One amusing possibility would be to do this at the HTTPS layer. With HTTPS Everywhere, most HTTP connections now have a unique connection ID at the crypto layer - the session key. If you could move an HTTP connection from one IP address to another on the fly, it could be kept alive over moves. HTTPS already protects against MITM attacks, and if the transfer is botched or intercepted, that will break the connection.

I'm not recommending this, but it meets many of his criteria.

The trouble with low-level connection IDs that don't force routing is forgery. You can fake a source IP address, but that won't get you the reply traffic, so this is useful only for denial of service attacks. If you have connection IDs, you need to secure them somehow against replication, playback, etc.

5
noahl 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
This was a very informative article for me, but there was one thing I didn't understand. At the end he made the case that mobile routing needed essentially two layers: a fixed per-device (or per session) identifier, and then a separate routing-layer address that could change as a device moved. QUIC has session identifiers, and that's great and could solve the problem.

But earlier in that very article, he already pointed out that every device already has a globally unique identifier used in layer 2 routing ... the ethernet MAC address.

Would someone please explain to me why we can't use MAC addresses as globally unique device IDs?

(Is MAC spoofing the issue?)

6
Hikikomori 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting article, but it contains some weird statements.

>It is literally and has always been the software-defined network you use for interconnecting networks that have gotten too big. But the problem is, it was always too hard to hardware accelerate, and anyway, it didn't get hardware accelerated, and configuring DHCP really is a huge pain, so network operators just learned how to bridge bigger and bigger things.

IP forwarding (longest prefix match) is more complicated than mac forwarding yes, but it has been done in hardware (ASICs, typically NPUs today) for a long time now.Operators (I assume ISPs) do not build large bridged networks as they need their networks to scale as they grow, or they will hit a breaking point where their network collapses. ISP's typically use centralised DHCP servers (as opposed to configuring their access routers) and configure their routers to use DHCP relay. DHCP server configuration is easily automated by just reading your IPAM data, it's a non-issue.

7
anilgulecha 6 hours ago 6 replies      
One big UX mistake of IPv6: it was not made backward compatible with IPv4. (v6)0.0.192.168.1.10 == 192.168.1.10(v4).

This simple design when planning and rolling it out would have meant incrementally updating the networking stack to also support v6. Now it turns out v4 and v6 are completely different, and no one has a big enough reason to make the change until everyone else makes the change. Hard chicken-egg problem.

8
hueving 7 hours ago 3 replies      
>And nowadays big data centers are basically just SDNed, and you might as well not be using IP in the data center at all, because nobody's routing the packets. It's all just one big virtual bus network.

The opposite trend is true in large data centers. L3 fabrics where everything is routed have become extremely popular because BGP (or custom SDN setups) can be used to migrate IPs and you get to utilize multiple paths (rather than the single path offered by STP convergence).

9
hueving 7 hours ago 0 replies      
>Network operators basically choose bridging vs routing based on how fast they want it to go and how much they hate configuring DHCP servers, which they really hate very much, which means they use bridging as much as possible and routing when they have to.

Very rarely does a network operator use bridging to avoid configuring DHCP. All modern protocols are built on IP so you still need an addressing scheme and most people want the Internet so the 169 auto addressing is out. So even in big bridged networks, you still have a DHCP server. In fact, you configure less DHCP in a big bridged network than DHCP for a ton of tiny networks.

The advantage to big bridging networks is that you have to setup very little routing (just the router to get in and out). If you routed between every port on the network, there would be an excessive amount of configuration involved to setup prefixes on every single interface.

10
okket 7 hours ago 1 reply      
> Actually, RARP worked quite fine and did the same thing as bootp and DHCP while being much simpler, but we don't talk about that.

Actually, no. You can only set an IP address with RARP, not even a netmask (RARP comes from pre-CIDR age) or other important stuff like default gateway, DNS server, etc like you can with DHCP.

11
tyingq 10 hours ago 4 replies      
>One person at work put it best: "layers are only ever added, never removed."

Find this in the software world as well. Something about the java culture seems especially fascinated with multiple layers of abstraction.

Edit: Ok, some factions of the culture. "Convenient proxy factory bean superclass for proxy factory beans that create only singletons"

12
ktRolster 10 hours ago 2 replies      
We'll switch to IPv6, and every service will still go through port 80.
13
akshayn 9 hours ago 1 reply      
"If, instead, we had identified sessions using only layer 4 data, then mobile IP would have worked perfectly."

Mobile IP can still work with the current infrastructure -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_IP

This proposal was basically a service which would host a static IP for you (similar to the LTE structure but with IP underneath instead of L2), and forward to whatever your "real" IP was using IP-in-IP encapsulation.

As the author states, layers are only ever added :)

14
mjevans 10 hours ago 4 replies      
Ok, so QUIC or some other common layer 4/4+5 'Modern TCP over UDP for network compatibility' solution.

Lets just throw away the concept of 'addresses' for authentication and actually use a cryptographic authentication identifier of somekind, combined with some mux iteration ID.

15
femto 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The "Internet Mobile Host Protocol" (IMHP) was written as a draft RFC in 1994. As far as I know it was never adopted, but is it still relevant, even as an inspiration for IPv6?

[1] https://www.cs.rice.edu/~dbj/pubs/draft-johnson-imhp-00.txt

Edit: Its official entry at the IETF: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-johnson-imhp/

16
fundabulousrIII 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This article was some of the most egregious nonsense I've read in a while.
17
Aloha 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Part of the difficulty here - is you're not just upgrading the whole stack, you're instead layering on whatever stack is already there - its a needed part of deploying any new technology without replacing everything from the basement up. I'm not sure what this guy would do instead however - as someone with a decent networking background, I got completely lost in the end.
18
mirimir 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I found the piece informative and entertaining. But I'm not technical enough to comment much. I would have liked to see what he thought of MPTCP as a replacement for TCP.
19
davidreiss 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is anyone else shocked at the low level of adoption of IPv6? I remember how in the late 90s people were saying we were going to run out of addresses and everyone need to migrate to IPv6 ASAP. Now, it seems that IPv4 is going to be around for a long while.
20
undoware 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Easily the best technical document I've ever read. Holy heck. "Now I see with pulse serene, the heart of the machine"
21
_pmf_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> To save on electronics, people wanted to have a "bus" network

It was also to save sanity and avoiding having to rip apart every office building for installing hundreds of cables.

22
marasal 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This was a great read.
23
killjoywashere 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Bookmark
24
tardo99 7 hours ago 2 replies      
What if the server needs to send you a packet while you're mobile but you haven't sent it a packet yet so it can update its cache? That packet will be lost in his scheme. Nice try.
25
peterburkimsher 8 hours ago 2 replies      
That is a beautifully-written article.

The IEEE hardware and IETF software guys have been busy adding complexity to the networks, with so many legacy protocols (when everyone just uses TCP/IP) and extra ports (when everything happens on port 80 - seriously, even email is now on cloud services).

I can't get LTE because of political problems. So I just gave up trying to be online, and started caching everything possible.

Meanwhile, storage is getting larger capacity, smaller size, and cheaper. I've got a 512GB SD card in my pocket all the time, with a backup of my laptop in case my bag gets stolen.

My phone does everything offline if possible. Offline MP3 music. Offline maps. Wikipedia. StackOverflow. Hacker News. FML. UrbanDictionary. XKCD. The few YouTube videos I actually want to see again.

The only thing I need Internet for is communication. To send a message, I walk around looking for open WiFi and type my message to them on Facebook Messenger. If they need to reach me urgently, they can just use my phone number (which keeps changing every 6 months for the same political problems).

What if access points had large caches with mirrors of the content people want? Instead of asking Google's server in the US to send me a map tile, what if I could just get it from the local WiFi AP's web server? It would be much faster, and save so much trouble with networking.

Sure, there are some things that people need the network for (e.g. new content, copyrighted material). But so much else is free of licenses, and would be possible to mirror locally everywhere.

26
beagle3 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I am very glad IPv6 didn't catch on. The world in which it was designed was not a world in which everyone (NSA, Google, Facebook) was trying to document and correlate every tiny thing you do, whether it is related to them or not.

If IPv6 eventually becomes widespread, I hope it comes with ISPs that will let you replace your prefix, and phones/hardware that will randomize your suffix - otherwise, the internet becomes completely pseudonymous.

18
Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions bloomberg.com
311 points by mcone  2 days ago   306 comments top 15
1
buserror 2 days ago 14 replies      
I've been saying that for years. Here in europe, the reason the life expectancy is high is that it's based on people who die today at ripe old age, many of them having been retired 30 years, sometimes more... They are 85+, and they drag the mean age of death thru the roof.

When THAT lucky generation is gone, I think statisticians will realise that their children are /nowhere/ near as lucky, and I'm pretty sure the life expectancy number will fall off a cliff.

I don't have anything to back it up mind you, but raising the age of retirement, more stress related to job stability, whatever, you name it; it's just empirical but I've seen a lot of people in my environment die in their 60's -- many of them who had a perfectly 'sane' way of life.I know what you are thinking, many more people will die at 60 then will die at 90, but I'm still pretty sure there's some underlying pattern here.

Also, I do have a vague impression that making access to the NHS more difficult PLUS raising age of retirement EQUAL MOAR PROFITS for someone, somewhere.

2
Mahn 2 days ago 6 replies      
I have this theory that in a couple decades or three most of the developed world will enter a health crisis, as everyone will suddenly realize that we've been eating and drinking like shit for a long time. Almost 3/4 of what you can find in your average grocery store today has unnecessary amounts of sugar, salt and/or chemicals added and no one seems to care. Someday we'll look at the food we eat now like the way we see tobacco today.
3
gthtjtkt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this article from The Atlantic last year:

> For the last several months, social scientists have been debating the striking findings of a study by the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton. Between 1998 and 2013, Case and Deaton argue, white Americans across multiple age groups experienced large spikes in suicide and fatalities related to alcohol and drug abusespikes that were so large that, for whites aged 45 to 54, they overwhelmed the dependable modern trend of steadily improving life expectancy. While critics have challenged the magnitude and timing of the rise in middle-age deaths (particularly for men), they and the studys authors alike seem to agree on some basic points: Problems of mental health and addiction have taken a terrible toll on whites in Americathough seemingly not in other wealthy nationsand the least educated among them have fared the worst.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/01/white-w...

4
sddfd 2 days ago 2 replies      
The absurdity is that life insurance/pension companies assume live expectancy is actually rising.

The company providing my pension fund estimates my life expectancy to 114 years - a fantasy number, albeit one that /increases/ my monthly payment and /decreases/ my expected pension.

5
bmc7505 2 days ago 1 reply      
But wait, there's good news: If you don't die quickly enough, they'll help!

Taking too long to die: Some 'terminal' patients can lose hospice benefits: http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2017/07/28/too-long-die...

6
twoquestions 2 days ago 9 replies      
Now I'm imagining our economy like some cruel volcano god, demanding blood in exchange for temporary safety. "People's lives are getting worse, look how much money that's making us!"

It's as if people exist only to make money, actually making people's lives better be damned. I doubt people will tolerate such a vampiric system for much longer, especially if it doesn't feel the need to conceal it's fangs anymore, and what comes afterward keeps me up at night.

7
joosters 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't get it. The article does not say that life expectancies are decreasing. It says that they are still increasing, just not as fast as they were a few years ago. But the article (and most of the comments) seem to think it means that people are dying younger. That's not what the data is saying.
8
albertgoeswoof 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's difficult to predict mortality rates. Advanced healthcare techniques (e.g. CRISPR) could completely eradicate entire classes of diseases (kind of like how anti-biotics and vaccinations changed healthcare completely), or they could lead to nothing.

So we might find that the average age of death jumps up by 20+ years in the next 50-60 years (just like it did after WW2).

Nuclear war aside we almost certainly won't see a drop in the average age.

9
SamBoogieNYC 2 days ago 1 reply      
This headline is mindbogglingly dystopic and crass
10
emodendroket 2 days ago 2 replies      
Good news, everyone.
11
maaaats 2 days ago 4 replies      
How does the pension system in USA work? Do the companies pay you a small salary after you retire? It reads like that. In that case, what about the place you worked until you were 40, are they still on the hook? What if the company closes down?
12
swah 2 days ago 6 replies      
I never understood why everyone is against smoking if it saves those corps money in the long run.
13
Chardok 1 day ago 2 replies      
Its not hard to see why exactly Americans are dying younger. Hell, just look at the headline here.

When you have increased wealth concentration flowing upwards and more involvement of profit machines in people's lives (healthcare, correctional facilities, food, environment), people on average are working harder for less pay with increased cost of living. This means less recreational time to blow stress off, less time for doctor visits (not to mention the fun games our federal government is playing with healthcare), and less time/money/emphasis to treat yourself spiritually/psychologically. I am hardly surprised this equates to higher mortality rates.

America has a huge problem spending money on the betterment of its citizens, and it is starting to show.

14
mathattack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looking at the chart, it seems like they're reading an awful lot into 1 or 2 data points. It's very noisy data.
15
Shivetya 2 days ago 2 replies      
purely anecdotal, but when my Doctor tells me he cannot tell fat people to diet because bad surveys affect the reviews of Doctors and their hospital; surveys from both government and insurance companies; it should be a clear indicator we are doing something wrong. He cannot connect their diabetes to their weight, only suggest what foods would help manage their diabetes without crossing the line into mentioning weight management.

what are people's actual expectations for how long they should or can live? I am at the age where I am not seeing relatives who I grew up learning from passing on, I am even having coworkers pass on. Perhaps I notice it more when people younger than I go.

19
VPN Report Reviews of the top VPNs vpnreport.org
307 points by mobitar  1 day ago   215 comments top 68
1
kelnos 1 day ago 4 replies      
What's the intended audience for this? As a tech-savvy person, reading his commentary on TunnelBear completely discredited his site in my eyes. He talks about things that are completely irrelevant and are incredibly silly to even remotely care about from a VPN provider.

Despite his listed criteria at the top, the star ratings and rank order seem to be based on how the provider made him feel, and has nothing to do with actually how secure and privacy-protecting the provider is. (To be fair, though, without inside knowledge, it's hard to evaluate how up-and-up they are.) Based on his own metrics, PIA should be listed as #1, not #8; it's the only one that hits all nine of his "Important" list.

I'm completely baffled as to why this list was constructed as it is.

On a side note:

"First, I'm upset at Private Internet Access because I had to modify this site's CSS just for their needlessly long name."

Are you kidding me? Really?

2
abstractbeliefs 1 day ago 5 replies      
Regardless of how you feel about _why_ PIA sponsor the organisations they do, it is surprising to see someone claiming they "perhaps put [their money] to better use" given their record of supporting foss and digital/online rights [1].

Additionally, the characterization as being extremely focused on the tech illiterate I feel isn't really the case either, they have lots of docs about how to use OpenVPN [2].

Thirdly, while there's no online free trial, at DEFCON and other events they do liberally hand out free trial cards.

The above points, as well as reading the commentary, leads me to believe that the author hasn't spent much time at all using or understanding the various product offerings, and the written review and star-score seem to clash with the high feature based score listed above. I can't speak at all for the other providers, but I don't feel like PIA at least has been well researched.

[1] https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/companies-we-spo...

[2] https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/client-support/

As full disclosure, I'm a unpaid volunteer for a non-profit PIA has contributed to.I have used in the past, but do not currently use, PIA VPN.

3
sp00ls 1 day ago 5 replies      
Lol this site is a joke, how much is TunnelBear paying him for the top spot? They're the only VPN provider I see consistently spending money on marketing and sponsoring YouTube videos. 'Fun to use'..what? I don't care if my VPN is 'fun', I want it to protect my privacy.

He mentions that 2 of the VPNs are 'uninspired'. Sorry, I didn't realize that tunneling traffic to protect privacy was an art project and not a technical one.

FWIW I've used PIA for 2 years now with no issues. A TON of torrenting has gone through them and they don't care in the least. In addition when their Russian servers were seized I received an email immediately letting me know their current situation and about their key changes due to the event. Plus they no longer do business in that location due to it. Pretty top notch company in my eyes even if their site does look 15 years old.

4
joshstrange 1 day ago 3 replies      
Private Internet Access

> A pretty boring company. Extremely transactional. You get in and get out. It delivers its experience the way a utility company would. Sometimes, that may be a good thing. But in this case, since I have choice, I'd rather give my money to a company who would appreciate it a little more perhaps put it to better use.

PIA might be very "transactional" but I like them and I've never had any issues with their service. I'm surprised it didn't get a better rating. I don't need a flashy VPN, a utility is exactly what I'm looking for.

5
tptacek 1 day ago 8 replies      
To steal (and paraphrase) what is basically the perfect summary of this from @SwiftOnSecurity:

Commercial VPNs: for when you want all the security of Ukrainian coffee-house wifi from the comfort of your own home.

Taylor Swift isn't wrong about this. Use something like Algo to run your own VPN if you have to. If you must use a commercial VPN to get to Netflix or whatever, do it from inside a virtual machine that you use for nothing but that.

6
LeoPanthera 1 day ago 2 replies      
This guy has been reviewing VPN services for a while and has put together an incredibly comprehensive table as well as a selection of more detailed reviews, selected from the list at random so as to remain impartial. Recommended.

https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-section/

For example, TunnelBear scores highly on security, but poorly on ethics.

7
revanx_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
"The following VPNs were not reviewed due to their website experience being poorly designed. This can mean heavy use of stock photos, utter disregard for detail, difficult navigation, excessive and hard to follow text, non-defaulting to HTTPS, and overall poor usability. "

And apparently that applies to AirVPN? Lol, this guy lost all credibility, this is just another "honest and totally not payed for online review", thats why tunnelbear is righ there at the top (you see their commercials everywhere) and he even says it's his favorite VPN.

0/10

8
mathgenius 1 day ago 1 reply      
> PIA, Somewhat boring company.

I fail to see how being a boring company has anything to do with the service they offer. If anything, being boring is a very good thing.

9
wepple 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Extremely bland, stock-photo website. I felt uncomfortable giving them my email address, let alone my payment info.

That's not valuable information.

> A heavily marketed product lacking inspiration which I ultimately couldn't get to work properly.

At this point you've given up even trying. It's not a useful comparison any longer.

10
Raphmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I strongly recommend using That One Privacy Site's detailed VPN comparison charts. There is a lot more information in there.

https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-comparison-chart/

Edit: Link to his charts as a Google Document https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L72gHJ5bTq0Djljz0P-N... for a much better usability than the widget on the website itself.

11
kevinr 1 day ago 3 replies      
lololol. Half of these VPN vendors show up on Kenn White's VPN Hall of Shame for offering unsafe configurations:

https://gist.github.com/kennwhite/1f3bc4d889b02b35d8aa

For anything actually sensitive, you're better off not using a VPN than using a VPN which provides an unsafe configuration.

If you'd rather not do your own pager duty for something like Algo, here's a recommendation I put together a while ago:

https://free-dissociation.com/blog/posts/2017/03/quick-and-d...

12
chairmanwow 1 day ago 1 reply      
As someone living in China, a VPN provider that doesn't provide direct download links to their Android client is completely useless. The only way for me to install an app from Google Play store is to flash a custom ROM and install the Google Play Store, install another VPN (?!!) to access the Play Store, and then download the app in question.

Furthermore, the fact that Apple has just pulled VPN apps from its App Store and the unfortunate fact that you can't sideload apps makes iOS an untenable OS choice.

13
bitskits 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sad to see AirVPN excluded. While their website isn't the most elegant I've seen, it's not user hostile enough to abandon altogether, IMO.

It also seems a bit odd to rate VPNs on their specific technical merits and features, and then disqualify for their homepage UI or sign up flow. I'd venture most VPN customers would tolerate a lot of ugliness for a truly private, secure, and reliable service. I would.

14
anglebracket 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The screenshot of their app on the iOS App Store shows a bunch of credible logos of their mentions, but then quotes "VyperVPN is the best service on the market" as coming from a reddit comment by a random user. Questionable tactic.

That's referring to reddit the company, and it was quoting one of reddit's sysadmins: https://www.goldenfrog.com/blog/reddit-gives-every-employee-...

15
cgtyoder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pretty surprised F-Secure Freedome wasn't mentioned - they're a major player and well-respected.
16
mcrocop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reading his reviews I felt the author was looking for that warm feeling a toddler feels when being coddled by his mother. Take a look at his comments on PIA, "Extremely transactional. You get in and get out. It delivers its experience the way a utility company would. Sometimes, that may be a good thing. But in this case, I'd rather give my money to a company who might put it to better use."

What? Extremely transactional? You're in and out? When using my VPN I want to click 'connect' to connect, choose US if I want my connection for the US, and 'disconnect' to disconnect... No fancy website or pretty colors needed.

17
jk2323 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The only thing harder than finding a VPN provider is finding an honest VPN review website."

100% true since the "best VPN" likely has the highest affiliate commission.

In fact, websites that claim honesty and transparency like BestVPN and VPNMentor actually display pop-up alerts advertising their highest rated VPN.

"I built this website because I wanted to finally get to the bottom of the question: which VPN providers are trying to build an honest long-term brand while also delivering an exceptional product experience?"

This is a fair metric. Unfortunately useless for most VPN users but this is another question. And to give him credit: He does not use affiliate links.

I suspect that he knows little about VPNs and why many users have to use them. By the way, I suspect most of these VPNs to fail in China!

Astrill.com is good for China.

vcp.ovpn.to has a good reputation regarding privacy.

18
deadlyllama 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm disappointed that Mo flat out disregards options "due to their website experience being poorly designed." A slick website means that money was spent on the website.

I've been using EarthVPN[1], one of his unreviewed options, for several years, and am very happy. It's cheap and cheerful, but yes, the website isn't great. The company is registered in Cyprus, and at USD40/year with three concurrent connections (from the same IP) and servers in many, many countries, it's a great way to bypass geoblocked websites.

[1] https://www.earthvpn.com/billing/aff.php?aff=1378

19
lalos 1 day ago 0 replies      
PIA has a kill switch on its client. That makes it for me. Lose the VPN connection and you lose the internet connection.
20
abalone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting this showed up on HN the same day as the expos on Facebook's Onavo VPN logging its users activity.[1] I'm guessing Onavo should be put on that list and given zero stars.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14972125

21
kevindong 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are you really prioritizing "fun" over an objectively better (by your own metrics) service (picking TunnelBear rather than OVPN)?

---

You also seem to be prioritizing aesthetic appeal over function. Is there a reason for that?

> TunnelBear has somehow figured out how to make VPNs fun.

> Extremely transactional. You get in and get out.

> Heavy use of stock photos, fake customer service agent profiles, and sensational marketing copy.

> Extremely bland, stock-photo website. I felt uncomfortable giving them my email address, let alone my payment info.

> But I sort of like it when companies show more humility.

> First, I'm upset at Private Internet Access because I had to modify this site's CSS just for their needlessly long name.

22
gmac 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been considering setting up a slightly different VPN service one that provides each user their own dedicated VPN server (based on my IKEv2 config script, https://github.com/jawj/IKEv2-setup).

100% vapourware web presence here: http://digitalsnorkel.net/

Feedback?

23
mstaoru 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm still looking for a reliable provider that would support openconnect and / or wireguard. Alas, here in China OpenVPN-based VPNs are getting more and more flaky, with talks of shutting down completely soon (not talking about the fake Bloomberg article). IPSec and Socks5 never really worked. Streisand only really works on AWS and having an AWS public IP means no Google most of the time (they block whole IP ranges), annoying Cloudflare captchas and other quirks.
24
toomanybeersies 1 day ago 2 replies      
Obviously not ideal for non-technical users, but I found it really easy to spin up a VPN on Digital Ocean.

I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to make it almost a turnkey operation, just run the script and you're good to go, and then it would be a viable option for non-technical people.

Of course, not ideal for anonymity, but a perfectly fine solution for if you want the security benefits of a VPN, or to get around geoblocking (I originally spun up my VPN to watch something that was geoblocked, now I keep it for when using open wifi connections).

25
mtmail 1 day ago 1 reply      
Too be honest despite your reassurance I still expected that there would be affiliate links, purchase cookies or other tracking somewhere (I checked, all good). Thanks for sharing your reviews!
26
evancaine 1 day ago 0 replies      
This site seems to me an imitation of sitebuilderreport which was featured on indiehackers recently [1]. The design and copywriting are similar. OP, was your site inspired by sitebuilderreport or are you connected with that site?

[1] https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses/site-builder-report

27
jiggunjer 1 day ago 0 replies      
How do you not get IP vanish to work? it's literally just a windows installer & reboot. You can manually add a server on Android too using their guides (they have step-by-step pictures!). O.m.g. I chose IPVanish over NordVPN because the later required me to upload a photo of my passport (to a third party) when paying! Who does that?!
28
captaindoe 1 day ago 2 replies      
Founder of OVPN.com here. Im happy to answer any questions regarding our infrastructure, policies or tech stack.
29
fishywang 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the one line summaries, OP seems to prefer native apps vs. open protocols (e.g. OpenVPN/L2TP/etc.), why is that?

I looked at the Chrome extension of TunnelBear and it requires some ridiculous permissions [1], much more than just "change your proxy settings". This doesn't seem right.

[1] http://imgur.com/3PuH0tE

30
gerdesj 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm (British) getting the impression that VPNs are becoming rather important to Americans (int al). Please bear in mind that us foreigners don't always get the memo about the current flavour of the day in all countries. I'm well aware that citizens of CN and many others really need privacy but it seems that there is a reasonably recent strange US fetish with VPNs.

Could someone please explain?

31
abavatar 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Facebook uses an internal database to track rivals, including young startups performing unusually well, people familiar with the system say. The database stems from Facebooks 2013 acquisition of a Tel Aviv-based startup, Onavo, which had built an app that secures users privacy by routing their traffic through private servers. The app gives Facebook an unusually detailed look at what users collectively do on their phones, these people say.

The tool shaped Facebooks decision to buy WhatsApp and informed its live-video strategy, they say. Facebook used Onavo to build its early-bird tool that tips it off to promising services and that helped Facebook home in on Houseparty."

via https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-copycats-how-facebook-s...

32
reflexing 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll just leave it here: https://torrentfreak.com/vpn-services-anonymous-review-2017-...

The scene guys know their stuff.

33
bitexploder 1 day ago 1 reply      
TunnelBear claims to be secure but all they offer is an opaque app. Uhh, no thanks. I prefer to run my own VPN client that doesn't have potential spyware in it. I am surprised this was so highly rated by someone reviewing VPNs.

edit: I know you can't make everyone happy, but there are a LOT of VPN options out there and only the very best should be making it through.

34
thinkMOAR 1 day ago 0 replies      
I kind of expected network based tests as reviews.

E.g. throughput, latency, connection setup, encryption strengths, fixed ip address etc etc. This is just a feature compare, where one trusts the vpn provider on their blue eyes, e.g. "No logging or tracking"

I cannot imagine a sane service provider that doesn't have some kind of logging, not of your (in vpn case,) browsing activity itself, but when you connected, what accounts are getting brute forced, etc etc. This is logging too.

35
parito 1 day ago 1 reply      
What this review really lacks is the additional features VPN's can provide, such as malware and fishing protection, location diversity, scale, jurisdiction, protocols supported, etc etc.

I am a happy user of NordVPN with all of the above points adressed by them really well. BTW the latest feature, CyberSEC also blocks ads which is a major plus for me, making the VPN that much faster.

[1] https://nordvpn.com/blog/security-feature-cybersec/

36
rocky1138 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use KeepSolid. I've been really impressed. I think his review has done them a disservice. They have a really helpful app on all platforms and their staff are friendly, too.

Disclaimer: none. I have no affiliation other than I am a customer.

37
linkmotif 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Honest" is such peacock language. Unsettling seeing it like this.
38
blubb-fish 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any opinions on ProtonVPN? I use it now more or less everywhere. No problems with it - it's fast enough (though definitely slows down my connection from about 12 to 16Mb/s to about 5 to 10 Mb/s.

I chose it b/c the organization behind it seems trustworthy. I don't know what the author has in mind when he labels the billing practice "shady".

39
jk2323 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Questions, any advise/help appreciated:

1. oVPN.to Does it work in China? (Support not helpful but I still like them)

2. Does Softether https://www.softether.org/ work in China?

40
mcrocop 1 day ago 0 replies      
How did this make the front page? People voting this story up must not have read his actual analysis. Pathetic.
41
mcrocop 1 day ago 0 replies      
He doesn't like PIA, a company that sponsors dozens of security companies/projects/etc because he would rather the company he chooses put their money to better use.... Like make bear graphics so his VPN is 'fun' to use.

Again - how did this make the front page... Embarrassing for HN.

42
MBCook 1 day ago 2 replies      
Both iOS and macOS (I don't know about windows, I havent used it recently) have built-in VPN clients so what would be the advantage to using a client from the VPN provider?
43
Proof 1 day ago 0 replies      
Horrible article. If he tried the services he didn't like the websites for (fucking childish excuse btw), he would realise that airvpn offers all the services he was treating as a pro. This is a dissapointing read, and even more disgusting it made its way up to the top of this great website.
44
welder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Could use a breakdown of which criteria each provider supported, because just a colored circle doesn't show which of those criteria are supported or not.
45
mirimir 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not impressed with this review. The author doesn't even mention the need to prevent leaks with firewall rules.

Edit: As others note, he doesn't include AirVPN, which is one of the best activist-focused services around. And his comments about IVPN are bizarre. It is expensive. But it has no affiliate program, and its apps are among the best. In particular, for being leak free.

46
bamboozled 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this! It's pretty cool and it's nice to have something to pass on to friends who are interested in subscribing to a VPN service.
47
mk89 1 day ago 0 replies      
All this article is missing is the referral links - then I don't see any difference with other websites, which the author wants to distinguish from. Actually, there are some good websites around - it just takes a lot of patience to search...
48
mobilio 1 day ago 0 replies      
49
belorn 1 day ago 0 replies      
A Nice-to-have would be static IP address so that you can run a private home server. Pity that the site don't include this since only a few vpn providers have an option for that.
50
darkblackcorner 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think you're better off with this for a proper technical feature-set... https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-section/
51
Izmaki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has the world forgotten about iPredator? The VPN service spawning from the legal issues with The Pirate Bay. One would assume that a VPN "by crime riders, for crime riders" would fulfil all the requirements and many more.
52
GTP 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that https://thatoneprivacysite.net/ has a much better VPN comparison.
53
vacri 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The speeds were good and the apps work but are kind of boring

... isn't the point of a VPN do just do its job and stay out of sight? Why is 'boring' even remotely relevant to the VPN equation?

54
newbear 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I just don't like the feeling of being logged on some ISP , is paying for a VPN something for me? Any free options for privacy ? Or is it more for torrents and stuff?
55
sly010 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's up with all these VPN review websites? Are the affilite fees that good?
56
scottmcdot 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is the TunnelBear "Vigilant" feature like a kill switch? So if the VPN drops out, it doesn't revert to downloading via non-VPN?
57
jianshi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can you try https://cypherpunk.com/ and add it to the list?
58
theprop 1 day ago 0 replies      
We don't know if IPSec or L2TP is compromised...could be either or both. So why is using Ikev2 with IPSec secure??
59
Mefis 1 day ago 1 reply      
This seems like a good thread to ask this.

I'm about to move to China. What vpn set up is best?

I use and android phone and Mac laptop.

Thanks..

60
MachinShinn- 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surprised few people picked up on this... this site is 100% Bullshit. The "ratings" are purely driven by which server is offering the author a commission per sign up.

How do I know this? I do the same thing with my sites.

61
gambiting 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why is private Internet access so low? It ticks almost all boxes, has a native client for windows/Linux/Mac/android/iOS and I have used it on a 300Mbps connection with no degradation of speed. Yet here it gets 2/5 stars? Why??
62
Cozumel 1 day ago 0 replies      
>'It's just so much fun to use'

Given that one of the criteria the VPNs were measured on was 'fun' makes me inclined to dismiss the whole thing.

VPNs are to stop the secret police from coming and killing your family and taking you away, 'fun' is coding, not playing with your life.

63
WhiteSource1 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know the VPN providers paid for the ranking.
64
wyclif 1 day ago 1 reply      
He didn't review OpenVPN, or even mention it.
65
k734730 1 day ago 0 replies      
If they don't test cryptostorm this review is pretty worthless. They are one of the best options out there.
66
nerdynerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
shill detected how does this tripe get so high on HN? is this reddit?
67
rubatuga 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hate to sound like I'm advertising, but I've found blackvpn quite good. It's based in Hong Kong.
68
dbg31415 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use PIA, and it's great. I don't know why they listed it as low stars.
20
Monsanto Was Its Own Ghostwriter for Some Safety Reviews bloomberg.com
295 points by Red_Tarsius  2 days ago   42 comments top 10
1
rubatuga 1 day ago 8 replies      
You should realize how important money is in research today. The main job nowadays of principal investigators (PI) for research labs is to write applications for grants and fundings. These labs are usually underfunded and will accept any private funding if necessary. For example, the PI for my nutrition lab received funding from a Canadian agricultural company for a study on Canola oil. When the test results of the study were investigated (which I don't exactly recall), they were not in favour of Canola oil. The PI therefore "voluntarily" decided not to publish the results. I asked her why, and she said that if she published the results she would not be likely to ever receive funding from the company again.

My point is that a lot of research conducted today is funded by ulterior motives, be it political, private interest, or a company like Monsanto. I fully expected a company like Monsanto to be engaged in this behaviour. The days of pure/basic research are dead, especially with funding from the public sector drying up.

edit: oops i meant to write principal investigator (PI)

2
pella 1 day ago 0 replies      
1 week ago:

"Monsanto leaks suggest it tried to kill cancer research about weed killer (baumhedlundlaw.com"

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14923009

3
jaclaz 1 day ago 0 replies      
The actual "news" are IMHO only that this can proven as they have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

I often dream of some news like "Independent research actually found to be independent".

4
shapiromatron 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408444.2016.12...

> The Expert Panel Members recruitment and evaluation of the data was organized and conducted by Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy (Intertek). The Expert Panelists were engaged by, and acted as consultants to, Intertek, and were not directly contacted by the Monsanto Company. Funding for this evaluation was provided to Intertek by the Monsanto Company which is a primary producer of glyphosate and products containing this active ingredient. Neither any Monsanto company employees nor any attorneys reviewed any of the Expert Panel's manuscripts prior to submission to the journal.

Seems misleading.

5
exabrial 1 day ago 0 replies      
"every company" was accidently misspelt as "Monsanto" in the title.

I'm not trying to jump to their defense, but can you think of a situation where the opposite would happen? Think about it, any company that funds research is going to be a subject area in their market.

Unless there was a specific ethical issue here, this isn't "news", this is a thorn in the side of the [otherwise wonderful] free market.

6
unclebucknasty 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting timing for me. I just yesterday read an Atlantic article titled "How America Lost Its Mind" [0].

The tldr; of that article is that Americans have had an increasing tendency to create our own realities and to believe anything we choose. This includes conspiracy theories like the government is purposely allowing cancer treatments to be withheld, as well as the idea that vaccines cause autism, etc. The article then goes on to suggest that choosing what to believe is part of being American. I don't necessarily agree, as I think the article was woefully inadequate in assessing the damage that financial interests play in willfully misleading people and creating a post-truth world.

Here on HN, I've had "debates" with people who nearly suggested that glyphosate is the greatest thing that ever happened to mankind. When I cautioned about safety concerns due to overuse, I got the standard pointer to the studies, etc. If you question the studies, then you find yourself being painted as some sort of anti-science conspiracy-theorist. This, when we essentially all know how research is done and the degree of rampant regulatory capture that exists.

I guess my point is that when many of the institutions we're supposed to trust are largely captured and firms that have direct financial incentive to mislead are allowed to decide what's real, then it is an assault on truth and reason. When we ignore this fact and encourage blind-belief in these institutions (worse, allowing them to act as proxies for "the ultimate truth of science"), then we are aiding in the creation of the very post-fact world we claim to abhor.

[0] https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-ame...

7
Cryptogocrazy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know the legality of what they did, but it's pretty clearly a reason to favor government involvement in fringe cases like this. Sounds like what they did was fraud.
8
cryoshon 1 day ago 1 reply      
so, where are the HN commentators who were defending monsanto left right and center during the recent safety debates?
9
throwawaymanbot 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yet again, American style Capitalism giving regular ole Capitalism a bad rep.
10
londons_explore 1 day ago 5 replies      
I don't really see anything wrong with using a ghostwriter, as long as the person/organisation whose name is on any document fully read and agreed with the contents, and would stand by them as their own.
21
Timescale, an open-source time-series SQL database for PostgreSQL timescale.com
306 points by pbowyer  17 hours ago   76 comments top 25
1
daurnimator 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Could you contrast this with the approaches mentioned in the series of blog posts starting here: https://grisha.org/blog/2015/09/23/storing-time-series-in-po...

That blog post grew to be tgres http://github.com/tgres/tgreshttps://grisha.org/blog/2017/03/22/tgres-0-dot-10-dot-0b-tim...

2
mnutt 15 hours ago 2 replies      
A project I work on has time series stats in postgres--it's essentially an interval, a period, a number of fields that make up the key, and the value. There's a compound index that includes most of the fields except for the value. It works surprisingly well, for tens of thousands of upserts per second on a single postgres instance. Easy app integration and joins are a huge plus. I'm really curious to check this out and see how it performs in comparison.
3
buremba 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Why do you usually advertise the write performance? Let's say that I have "100+ billion rows (the number in your landing page)", how much time it takes to run a simple GROUP BY query?

The benchmark repo doesn't actually include the performance comparison between Timescale and Postgres: https://github.com/timescale/benchmark-postgres#benchmark-qu...

This blog post (https://blog.timescale.com/timescaledb-vs-6a696248104e) has some query benchmarks and the main benefit it that the hypertable will partition the data smoothly and if we query the table by filtering with timestamp column, it will be fast since Timescale uses partitioning as an indexing method.

4
koffiezet 3 hours ago 2 replies      
While nice, it suffers from the same problem storing timeseries in any sql database: you have to predefine your tables. For a fixed and known set of metrics, that's all fine, but if you look at the possible outputs of for example Telegraf, things become a bit more tricky to pre-create all tables/schemas...
5
lurker456 6 hours ago 1 reply      
further evidence of how postgreSQL is eating noSQL. Every good concept first implemented in a custom noSQL solution eventually becomes an extension in postgres.
6
joaodlf 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I've come to rely heavily on Cassandra, but I miss good old SQL and adhoc functionality. Systems like Cassandra bring orher requirements when you need flexible data (Spark, for example), technical debt is always a worry for me.

I want to give this a go for sure!

7
craigkerstiens 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Great to see what you all are doing.

Are there any plans to move timescale to be an extension as opposed to a fork? We've found ourselves at Citus that maintaining an extension lets us more easily stay up to date with current releases. Would love to see the same applied to timescale.

Edit: Looks like it is already one, just was unclear in the docs on the setup steps to me. Well done all.

8
MightySCollins 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Please stop tormenting me. This looks like exactly what we need (I was looking into manually partitioning the other day) it's just so annoying there is not yet Amazon RDS support.
9
gaius 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How does this compare to Vertica?
10
atemerev 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Whoa, fantastic!

I have managed to design a vanilla PostgreSQL solution, with partitions and BRIN indices, but there are too many hops to jump. I am excited to check if it will work out of the box. 100 billion rows per server sounds exciting!

11
_Codemonkeyism 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We have been using Postgres for a smaller event time series database (millions of rows) with good success.Tables are partitioned.

Some user reports (aggregations) are ~5secs so we batch-pre generate them currently.

Eeager to look into this to replace generation of reports with real time reports.

12
Throaway786 13 hours ago 2 replies      
We have a requirement of saving 100million data points every 5 mins. What options should we explore for real time system for last 15 days of data and archival system for last 3 years of data?
13
overcast 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Alright, I'm excited to check this out. Been teetering on InfluxDB for a while, but not something I wanted to just introduce into corporate. Great work guys!
14
Tostino 16 hours ago 1 reply      
This is something i've been meaning to look into for a personal project that has a lot of time series data. It'll be interesting to see what they eventually come up with to make time series data not take quite as much space.
15
shady-lady 6 hours ago 1 reply      
What is the extra size on disk as a result of using this?I'm guessing there's some overhead?
16
odammit 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks cool. I love things that get rid of extra dependencies. Influxdb is nice but then I have to support it, get stuff into it and get stuff out of it.

Timescale isn't currently supported by RDS/Aurora though, so it looks like more influx for me wooohooooo!

17
hof 13 hours ago 1 reply      
How would this work together with something like Stolon? https://github.com/sorintlab/stolon
18
ericb 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the business model to charge for the clustering release?
19
hotwagon 13 hours ago 1 reply      
At a higher level, is this the same concept as Datomic?
20
continuations 14 hours ago 1 reply      
So this is based on Postgresql. How does it compared to other solutions that are written from scratch to be a time series DB like influxDB?
21
anemic 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Can this be queried with Grafana or some other visualization tool?
22
riku_iki 11 hours ago 1 reply      
How timescale fits postgres maintenance patterns(replication, backup)?
23
dpen2016 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Why no redirect to https here?
24
freestockoption 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Any support for RDS? :)
25
manigandham 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Any SQL database can do time-series well with more functionality then the specialized stuff like influxdb which doesn't really have much reason to exist at this point.

Citus is a another good alternative and SQL Server and MemSQL also have in-memory and columnstores if you need the performance and scalability.

22
Principles of Sharding for Relational Databases citusdata.com
283 points by tikhon  1 day ago   46 comments top 5
1
AznHisoka 1 day ago 9 replies      
I find the "you don't want to shard" camp quite annoying. Of course, I don't want to shard! Who does?! It adds complexity, both implementation-wise and operational.

But if you got 5 TB of data, that needs to be in a SSD drive, then please tell me how I can get that into 1 single physical database.

2
ozgune 1 day ago 3 replies      
Hey everyone, it's Ozgun. When I first wrote this blog post, it was much longer. Based on initial feedback, I edited out parts of it to keep the post focused.

If you have any questions that aren't covered in the post, happy to answer them here!

3
dcosson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting that sharding by customer for a sass business is the example of the best use of sharding. That can also go very wrong - what if you get a huge customer that's as big as everyone else combined? You're effectively maxed out at 2 shards.

Definitely depends on the workload, but often the "micro service" approach (whether or not it's a true micro service in its own runtime) of sharding just one type of data/small set of related tables that you can shard by a primary key or user id or something seems like the only reasonable option for sharding. If your data is becoming unwieldy there's often a bottleneck data set that's bigger than everything else so you don't necessarily have to share everything all at once.

4
megamindbrian 1 day ago 1 reply      
I laugh every time I read that word.
5
0xc001 1 day ago 0 replies      
She shard on a turtle!
23
To Protect Voting, Use Open-Source Software nytimes.com
226 points by bleakgadfly  2 days ago   225 comments top 36
1
r721 2 days ago 0 replies      
2
blackkettle 2 days ago 5 replies      
No. To protect voting, don't use software. Everyone needs to be able to _understand_ as well as be able to verify that they successfully voted.

Besides the issues with what software the machine is actually running, most people cannot comprehend or understand that software - even if it is open source. That is not acceptable for an open democratic society, or to sustaining it.

In this particular situation it should not be necessary to rely on an expert to explain whether the vote counting mechanism is reliable. This only adds to the problem of unreliable or scheming officials - it doesn't improve anything in terms of transparency.

3
danirod 2 days ago 14 replies      
Electronic voting is a bad idea and I'd be suspicious on anyone trying to promote it.

How can you know that even if the source code for the voting machine is open, the voting machine is running the exact same source code? How can you know nobody has tampered the code the instance is running?

I'm glad my country is still running on paper ballots and glad we require voter ID.

4
danhardman 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'd like to reference Tom Scott's video[0] here. There is no need for an electronic voting system, paper ballots work perfectly.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI

5
beat 1 day ago 0 replies      
First and foremost, use paper ballots. Before anything else. The paper ballots are the System of Record. If ever in doubt about downstream results, paper ballots can be hand-counted. (Additionally, use paper voter rolls. Mark registered voters when they vote, and track any same-day registrations on paper. The exact number of ballots cast can be extracted from the voter rolls.)

Second, never allow paper ballots to be handled by just one person, or by only members of one party - whether blank or used. Require that members of at least two political parties be present any time the ballots are physically touched.

Third, if using machines to read the ballots (ScanTron, etc), conduct spot counts of random machines, to make sure the machine results match the paper ballots. Conduct spot counts of entire polling stations randomly to make sure result totals match voter roll totals. Although this isn't 100% certain, it doesn't take a lot of spot checks to detect any sort of large-scale fraud effort.

Do these things, and it's exceedingly difficult to do statistically meaningful vote fraud, because we have a high degree of trust in the paper ballots and their surrounding process. From there, you can use automatic ballot reading and tallying to get fast results - the vote counting/tallying automation is derived data, not the System of Record.

6
ai_ja_nai 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is plain bullshit. Opensource gives no guarantee that the vote won't be altered by whoever runs the machine.

What we need is a zero-knowledge proof: we need the entire voting dataset to be publicly downloadable and some kind of checksumming so that, while maintaining anonimity, I can 1)check that my vote is the same 2)run whole the counting in a blink on my PC.

This gives much better guarantees of no tampering

7
noja 2 days ago 1 reply      
A child can understand paper ballots and why they work.

There are probably less than a hundred people in the world who can understand an electronic voting system at every level down to and including the silicon.

8
cletus 2 days ago 1 reply      
To protect voting don't use electronic voting.

Paper ballots (the kind with marks read optically, not the ridiculous punch cards at the center of the Florida 2000 debacle) are easy to use and understand with a very low error rate and keep a paper trail, being the actual ballots.

I don't understand why anyone other than the companies who sell e-voting machines actually want electronic voting.

9
fredley 2 days ago 2 replies      
To protect voting, use paper ballots.
10
boomboomsubban 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who is a firm supporter in free software as the best option in every area, this feels like a subversive attack.

Voting software is bound to fail, no bug bounty is big enough to offset the billions that could be made off of hacking an election. It is bound to fail spectacularly, and then for the rest of time people can point at the election and say "the ability to see the source code let this happen."

11
marcelsalathe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Geneva has made its e-voting software public: https://republique-et-canton-de-geneve.github.io/chvote-1-0/...

I'd much prefer electronic to paper. Last year I voted on 24 initiatives, and that is just the federal level. It also does not include elections.

12
CapsUnLock 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well, IMHO a good way to digitize voting would be to give out a USB-drive-like (NFC) device with an option to set a value and lock it in the read-only mode using voter ID.

How it will work:A person gets this device in the voting center enters/gets his voter ID, does the voting (anonymously), presses the read-only lock and throws it into the bin. After all the voting these device are scanned and voting data is retrieved. A voting database is populated in each center in a transparent way, to prevent tampering (several parties can be allowed to read this data separately and then all data variants can be compared against each other, just in case). After consensus on the voting data, each voting center sends the results for counting. And the voting is completed.

In the end, these devices are reset and the cycle continues.

Well, I'm sure that there must be some problems when voting the aforementioned way. But I guess it could work out, with some modifications.

EDIT: Grammar.

13
vowelless 2 days ago 0 replies      
Someone needs to start a campaign: "Say No To Electronic Voting"
14
ivanbakel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Previous discussion (5 days ago): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14920513
15
kome 2 days ago 0 replies      
My first job was an ethnography of electronic voting in a wealthy region in northern Italy.

By our observations electronic voting added several layers of complexity that are difficult to justify.

16
ApolloFortyNine 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why can't you have everything set up so that when you vote, you get what amounts to a JSON Web Token to be able to later verify that you did in fact vote? You could use the governments publicly available key to verify that your vote reached the central service, and part of the JWT could contain your vote as well as your identifying information (SSN in USA).

Obviously everything could have fancy UIs created for end users so they don't see that really all have is a JWT (maybe a QR code printed out when they vote? And all the info easily human readable?). Verification could be handled by a .gov address and also through manual use of the public key (so other services could be set up to verify votes as well). And internet connectivity wouldn't be a problem as they could just require T1 lines at polling locations (I assume if phones went out across the country the election would be delayed regardless). You could likely tell if someone had stolen the private key (the only way I can think of breaking this system), if you have a service to verify someone's vote, and it doesn't show up there, even though you have a signed JWT containing your vote. That would prove someone had stolen the private key, allowing for a makeup election.

Am I missing something basic of how this would be hackable? I'm one of those who finds it odd that many elections around the world are susceptible to simple human mistakes/purposeful malicious actions when it comes to counting ballots.

17
Arkanosis 1 day ago 0 replies      
R. James Woolsey [] former director of [CIA]. Brian J. Fox, [] develop open-source voting systems even if I had no opinion on the matter, it'd seem to me that there's a clear conflict of interest there.

To protect voting, do NOT use software. At all. Open-Source software is no more trustable than paper, and is orders of magnitudes more complex to set up and audit. If you can't explain a 5 years old how it works, your voting approach is not trustable.

18
wu-ikkyu 2 days ago 3 replies      
Why is it that electronic voting is so vehemently opposed here on HN and by many technologists in general when virtually every other existentially vital system they rely on is run electronically?
19
pjmorris 2 days ago 0 replies      
To protect voting, use paper ballots and count them in public (OK, and voter ids if you insist).
20
xealgo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Security may not ever be 100% with e-voting systems, but it can be secured enough to where the probability of any hack attempt would have minimal impact on the overall outcome. I can think of several ways to a secure, verified registration could work just off the top of my head. I think the issue is more, where's the incentive for the government to make this happen?
21
clarkevans 2 days ago 0 replies      
This past election has shown that it's not just the voting software, but the software/systems that control who is permitted to vote.
22
tiku 2 days ago 2 replies      
why not blockchain voting. everyone receives 1 voteCoin, and transfers it to the correct wallet address of the person he or she votes for?
23
ruffrey 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's got to be some way to put votes on a blockchain. More important than voting electronically is being able to verify your own vote was not tampered with, and that all the votes add up as reported.
24
tzs 1 day ago 0 replies      
To protect voting, use this or something similar:

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

25
jjawssd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Related comment to a related thread

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14921935

26
return0 1 day ago 0 replies      
To what extent is voting fraud an issue in the developed world and why is Nytimes upset about it?
27
thescriptkiddie 1 day ago 1 reply      
The amount of anti-free-software FUD in this thread is staggering. Did Microsoft buy off all of you?
28
jk563 2 days ago 3 replies      
A lot of talk about securing voting machines/verifying that they run the correct software. Why do we have to have physical machines? If it's electronic, surely a website would do if you have the correct means of ID?

NB: this is not an indication of which side I fall on the debate, it is an observation.

[EDIT] Also, I'm aware similar issues exist with a website, but it seems a lot of focus goes on the actual machine.

29
wnevets 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use open source software that prints a paper ballot then count the paper ballot.
30
a_imho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Retire voting in favor of sortition.
31
peterwwillis 1 day ago 0 replies      
This story has been posted four times now. Click the 'past' link at the top.
32
davidgerard 1 day ago 0 replies      
To protect voting use paper.

Why did anyone ever think computerising voting was a good or useful idea?

33
Zigurd 1 day ago 0 replies      
First, you have to understand the problem:

1. You don't need to commit widespread election fraud to throw an election if you can predict where a small fraud will matter.

2. Not all election fraud is a miscount of ballots. Throwing out minorities' registrations is also election fraud, and you can't fight that with more-reliable ballots.

3. The best solution might not be a technology solution. Paper ballots make it hard to scale fraud. But that's not enough, since fraud doesn't always need to scale.

4. Early voting and absentee voting need to be taken into considerations and are a growing part of voting in the US.

5. If software systems are used in voting, tallying, or anything connected to election results, the systems should be open to inspection and to pen testing.

34
alkoumpa 2 days ago 2 replies      
to protect voting, audit your software/system extensively. Openssh is open-source and we all know the story..
35
joseppe 2 days ago 0 replies      
One word: blockchain
36
nkohari 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not a crypto fanboy or anything, but I feel like voting is a great application of blockchain technology. It seems like the system could be made to be both anonymous and publicly verifiable, and the vote count would return more or less immediately.
24
Swift 5: start your engines swift.org
271 points by mpweiher  1 day ago   174 comments top 16
1
protomyth 1 day ago 5 replies      
One of the problems I find with Swift is that Apple doesn't go back and properly update their sample code at developer.apple.com. They have examples that will not build. If you search you can find folks that have patch sets, but they really need to fix the examples.
2
ssijak 1 day ago 11 replies      
And just today I was contemplating writing my first native iOS and macOS app... I was looking at the options and decided to go native with Swift. I have never written Objective-C app and never used x-code for dev. But I have ~10 years of dev experience, mostly Java and Python on the backend and front end dev exp mostly with Angular. Some Android, and a little from <input_random_tech_here> because I like to experiment.

So, my question is. How hard and enjoyable is for someone like me to write not very complex native iOS/macOS app in Swift starting from scratch? Best resource to start with?

3
ainar-g 1 day ago 7 replies      
Maybe someone will explain this to me. Does Swift use this confusing "rapid release" versioning? Does Swift 4 break backwards compatibility with Swift 3?

In my company people are looking for a language to rewrite some legacy Objective-C to. Swift is often discarded as "unstable" because of these major version bumps. Compare this to Go, which, seven or so years after the initial release is still 1.x and still doesn't break code.

I just don't get breaking the language so often. Do people enjoy rewriting code?

4
__sr__ 1 day ago 6 replies      
I wish more effort were being made to make it a first class citizen on non-Apple platforms. With the popularity it has enjoyed, it could easily challenge the likes of Go, Python or even Java for server side programming.
5
jswny 1 day ago 8 replies      
Can someone with Swift experience comment on the status of Swift on non-Apple platforms? Is it being used outside of the Apple ecosystem? How is the tooling, deployment, availability/support, etc.
6
tambourine_man 1 day ago 1 reply      
Since things at Tesla haven't worked out, I hope Lattner eventually returns to Apple.

Not that the Swift team is in a bad shape without him, it's just that it's nice to have an amazingly smart guy behind an open source language that many of us use (and that number that will probably only grow).

7
jorgemf 1 day ago 2 replies      
Swift developers, how is the evolution of the programming language now? does it still have backwards compatibility issues or things are more stable now (and will be with this new proposals)?
8
bsaul 1 day ago 5 replies      
About concurrency : does anyone know of a language that would let you tag portions of a codebase in some way, and declare something like "all those methods should execute in the same thread". Those declarations would then be checked by the compiler.

That would be a first step toward agent like concurrency, but it would be general enough to apply to other types of concurrency models.

9
real-hacker 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only complaint about swift programming is: they keep changing the programming interfaces, so if I import a third-party code file written with earlier versions of Swift, I have to go through the errors of 'obsolete APIs', updating the function signatures. The changes are automated by Xcode, but it is still a hassle.

I am totally OK with introducing new features of Swift language. But changing the API function signatures (even multiple times) seems totally unnecessary, and reflects the API designers' obsession of naming conventions.

10
geodel 1 day ago 0 replies      
> the Core Team felt that we could strike a balance with not diluting attention from ABI stability while still enabling a broader range of proposals compared to Swift 4 by requiring that all proposals have an implementation before they are officially reviewed by the Core Team.

Good. They are effectively saying 'Talk is cheap, show me the code'

11
martijn_himself 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tangential question- I'm in the UK and I am keen to become a iOS developer (I'm currently a senior .NET developer in a large firm). Are there enough opportunities remaining in iOS development as a contractor / creator of ('enterprise') apps to make a living? I would be very grateful if anyone could share any advice / personal experience.
12
the_common_man 1 day ago 0 replies      
13
seekler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone else doing what swift will do: Inlines the standard library, but distributes it separately. Does not makes sense to me at all.
14
legulere 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fixing the ABI might be interesting for interoperation with other programming languages
15
Jack4E4B 1 day ago 1 reply      
Concurrency finally, it has taken forever. Is there any built-in support now? Server side Swift is lacking this big time.
16
RocketSyntax 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd rather build hybrid apps. Fix your IDE.
25
HyperCard On The Archive archive.org
279 points by dogecoinbase  14 hours ago   88 comments top 24
1
rhencke 14 hours ago 7 replies      
Hypercard is largely responsible for my love of programming. As a kid, I would work with my sisters on making games in it. It was a beautiful combination of half painting program, half drag'n'drop GUI creation that we used to make adventure games. Each card represented a room, and my sisters would draw on it using the paint tools, and I would follow up after and add invisible buttons over doors and the like to allow for 'moving' through rooms. We'd then use the built-in MacInTalk speech stuff to make characters say things, too. Granted, they were silly little games without much point to them, but... as a kid, man. It was like magic, learning you could have computers do this.

I was sad when Hypercard fell out of general distribution with the Mac, but I'm happy to see it here.

2
tedmiston 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Hypercard in a lot of ways is what the Web could have been.

If never became as easy to create high quality freeform sites and apps as it was multimedia Hypercard decks and games. Hypercard changed my life in childhood, even without learning about its scripting features.

HyperStudio was pretty good too. We used that in school quite a bit.

3
jamestnz 9 hours ago 4 replies      
In addition to echoing all the dev-related stories in this thread, I have very fond memories from my childhood of playing a 1988 HyperCard-based game called The Manhole (on our SE/30, and later Power Mac 8100).

It was an immersive and extensive visual world, where the main point was just to explore. It was implemented as a series of linked HyperCard stacks, each sized to fit on a floppy disk. You'd come to remember the exact points of the game that would throw up a modal dialog prompting the insertion of the next required disk.

And, it happens to have been made by the brothers Rand and Robyn Miller, who later went on to create Myst (which itself is very reminiscent of The Manhole).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manholehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyOTq1EpV5o

Unrelatedly, I wonder if anyone in this thread remembers SuperCard, a third-party knock-off of HyperCard that offered such amazing innovations as color graphics. (I also seem to recall some kind of hack where you could use ResEdit to get colour images into HyperCard stacks even though it wasn't officially supported, but the details are fuzzy).

4
pmarreck 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Bill Atkinson apparently kicks himself for not being the first to realize that simply making the stacks work over a network could potentially have been the first "web browser" (or at least, internet hypertext engine)

HyperCard was totally awesome at the time.

5
CaliforniaKarl 14 hours ago 5 replies      
HyperTalk was the first programming language I ever learned. Now I understand how each card was an object that I was manipulating.

It was so good! It's too bad it never became more popular and disappeared.

6
sthielen 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hypercard was before my time; I heard about it recently when someone compared it to what we're building with Metaverse [0].

When you so dramatically reduce the friction required to create that anyone, especially non-technical folks, can do it, all kinds of amazing things happen. I watched an 11 year old build the "Not Hot Dog" app from Silicon Valley, using Google's Vision API, in ten minutes (from never having seen the Metaverse Studio to having her app deployed on device, cross-platform, and sending it to her friends; this is how creation SHOULD be for 99% of people!).

[0] - http://gometa.io (also check out how easy it is to create apps that integrate with IoT devices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPrBLPG3Smk -- Hypercard for the modern age!)

7
dustingetz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
My project is a bit of a spiritual successor to HyperCard: https://github.com/hyperfiddle/hypercrud.browser
8
zopf 13 hours ago 0 replies      
HyperTalk was my first programming language!

I helped a friend build a choose-your-own-adventure murder mystery game called Blood Hotel, and found myself obsessed with the feeling of inventive power that programming enabled.

I ended up building an animated space invaders game, and even tried my hand at writing a "virus" in HyperTalk that would infect other stacks with its code.

Ah, the good old days. Lovely to see this at the top of HN!

9
brentjanderson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
HyperCard was my first foray into programming at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center - Apparently Starfleet runs on HyperCard, [here's a video][1] showing the program in action. Most of the software in the video is built in HyperCard.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG2lSb1xrNM "Four Hours: A Space Trip"

10
bsclifton 8 hours ago 0 replies      
HyperCard was amazing. My first online experience was with AOL in 1993 and they had a HyperCard section where you could upload/download your stacks. I racked up huge bills hanging out in that area (pay by the minute)
11
oso2k 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the stuff the Archive keeps coming up with. I'm glad I finally started donating to their cause last year.
12
kylestlb 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My 7th grade 'computers' class was basically a HyperCard course. It was amazing and I made a cool choose-your-own-adventure game.
13
setori88 11 hours ago 0 replies      
My project http://www.fractalide.com is looking to build out a new hypercard type environmont
14
coldcode 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I loved Hypercard for prototyping UI back then. UI designers didn't really exist and programmers like me typically designed stuff, don't laugh, having artists involved was a web era thing for the most part. Being able to prototype and animate quickly was incredibly useful for explaining an idea to a product manager, or showing another programmer what you had in mind. Today there are great tools but they are clearly meant for a different audience.
15
hsivonen 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I did my first programming in HyperTalk, which I learned from the HyperCard 2.0 manual.

Back then, software came with well-written paper manuals, and the translation quality (into Finnish in my case) was very good, too. I feel like Apple manuals peaked with HyperCard 2.0.

16
ontouchstart 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I can even play it on iPhone:

https://twitter.com/ontouchstart/status/895833140467572736

Moving cursor with touch is kind of challenging though.

17
spiderjerusalem 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Any oldies here who can recount why exactly Hypercard was killed? Seems like such a wonderful piece of software.
18
jacquesm 13 hours ago 2 replies      
So, who will do a hypercard for the web? Or better still: a hypercard based alternative to the web?
19
samgranieri 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I loved hypercard and wish it was still around. I learned how to code in that an in TI-Basic
20
twsted 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I loved HyperCard.

As an Amiga user, I remember a good clone named CanDo. It was really interesting.

21
smegel 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They are some really nice web based emulators. It's almost certainly 100% nostalgia but there is a certain charm to these early Mac games...simple but somehow deeply detailed monochrome graphics...easy to use point and click interface...it's great to see them spring back to life in a web browser.
22
watersb 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I will dig up some old projects...

Does anyone know if XCMDs are supported?

23
Kristine1975 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Fun fact: The game Myst was created in HyperCard (at least the original Mac version was).
24
poisonarena 13 hours ago 1 reply      
if you are a real sicko you can actually emulate it on basilisk and keep making stacks..
26
Americans dont need fast home Internet service, FCC suggests arstechnica.com
271 points by JacksonGariety  1 day ago   175 comments top 31
1
matt_wulfeck 1 day ago 6 replies      
I was recently fortunate enough to upgrade to 1Gb symmetrical fiber. I can say that it is absolutely fantastic. You really can do things you never did before:

1. I can host time-machine backups for my entire family on my home server, allow them to have off-site backups.

2. I can provide openVPN service for my entire family when they're outside of the home. I can also browse full-time on my own openVPN client at full-speed.

3. I can seed legitimate torrents for far, far longer than I normally would. For example, new Ubuntu releases.

4. I "donate" some of my bandwidth to other people and projects, allowing them to host files from my home.

5. I can test and host my own websites/services from my house. If it gets a little traction it won't destroy my entire internet.

These are all things that simply were not possible when I was with Comcast, with only 10 Mb/s upload and bandwidth caps. If we completely deregulate internet I'm afraid they will be impossible for most everyone.

2
noonespecial 1 day ago 4 replies      
We didn't need anything faster than dial-up for the web of 1999.

It's all the things yet unimagined that ubiquitous high speed internet would enable that's the real tragedy here.

The complete failure of imagination of today's "leaders" is very disheartening.

3
drawkbox 1 day ago 0 replies      
The internet innovation spirit in the US is high but the companies in charge, and oversight, are on the milk it train.

Cable and broadband companies were massively innovating in the 90s and early 2000s, now they are focusing on their 'innovation' on pricing and milking it by: slowing things down, data capping it, lobbying for more monopoly control, trying to get access to your private info and constant pricing games. All of these actions are due to lack of product innovation and to make up for lost revenues of not just increasing capacity and speeds thus offering a better product people will pay more for.

All we can hope for is another disruptive network innovation that puts them in the rear-view or adds some competition like Google Fiber did or others. Google Fiber had an amazing impact to pricing and speeds in any market they entered. For the most part broadband has been lagging on real innovation and expansion, in favor of MBA metric pricing games and value extraction for some time.

4
chank 1 day ago 3 replies      
Great so we can let ISPs off the hook for all the money we've already given them for faster service they haven't provided. This is how our government works folks.
5
geff82 1 day ago 5 replies      
One more little sign America is more and more retiring its leadership in the world, opening doors for other nations to be more developed?

In a time where many European countries aim at providing 100Mbit as a minimum in the next years and thus also open rural areas for economic development, decision/opinions as the one described in the article seem ludicrous. Of course, providing net infrastructure in the US with its huge size is a challenge. Yet, in a country like Sweden with similar population density, 100Mbit is already kind of the basic minimum even in remote areas.

Here in my town in Germany we had super slow internet until 3 years ago. Now I can choose up to 400Mbit from different providers (100Mbit DSL or up to 400Mbit cable). Connectivity skyrocketed and it does in many other European areas. Now the US decides to lower standards? Is it the same kind of thinking as "we don't need high speed trains, we will have Hyperloop in 50 years", just adapted to "everything will be mobile one day"?

6
hiisukun 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, a similar position is held by the NBN here in Australia (National broadband network), and indeed appears to be held by some members of the government.

This has been a long standing position even prior to the NBN existing, resulting in almost two decades of delays and debates in replacing half century old copper phone lines that provide much of the people's internet.

I wouldn't wish such lengthy technological delays on another country, so I hope this gets sorted out rather quicker than our issues have been.

7
iokevins 1 day ago 0 replies      
California Assembly Bill 1665 attempted to something similar:

"Both Frontier and AT&T maintain antiquated DSL systems that serve millions of Californians who live in communities that dont have sufficient revenue potential. Low income and low density communities in other words."

http://www.tellusventure.com/blog/california-bill-magically-...

AB 1665 seems on hold until legislators return on August 21:

http://www.tellusventure.com/blog/hostile-takeover-of-califo...

8
rndmize 1 day ago 1 reply      
> But during the Obama administration, the FCC determined repeatedly that broadband isn't reaching Americans fast enough, pointing in particular to lagging deployment in rural areas.

No skin off my back. I already have internet service significantly better than the FCC broadband definition, and my core concern in this space is net neutrality. Rural areas are the ones that will be negatively affected by this kind of policy change in the coming years. You get what you vote for in this case.

9
mnm1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fuck Pai. More and more Americans are working from home. That alone is reason enough that we need fast broadband. I know he doesn't care about people and their needs but scum like him are at least usually persuaded by business arguments so I'm making one here. He's not a representative of anyone. He was not elected. It's not his job to decide what Americans want. The only way to fix this FCC travesty is to get rid of the pro business, anti citizen scum who appointed him.
10
bdickason 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone who lives in a very expensive area, I would happily live in a more rural or less populated area if there was decent infrastructure to do so. I don't think that internet alone is the solution, but faster internet across the country is one of the hurdles for remote work and (theoretically) better distribution of the population.

I know that a lot of other pieces have to fall into place to make this happen, but the entire country wired with strong backbones and last mile service will definitely help.

11
iokevins 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fix link so it points to article top, instead of comments (?)

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/08/maybe...

12
drallison 1 day ago 0 replies      
The FCC is wrong. The Internet is intertwingled with everything we do these days. I live in non-urban Montana at the end of a DSL line suffering "bandwidth exhaust", a term my ISP (CenturyLink) coined to describe what happens when they sell "high speed" Internet to many customers but do not adequately provision their DSL network to support them. This shortfall is being fixed, but progress is glacial. How to bring everyone on-board the Internet is still a work in progress.
13
heisenbit 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of people did not read this article: It is about mobile.

It is actually about mobile home access. Generally:

- mobile coverage in the home is different from outside of the home. The primary focus of radio planning was outdoor coverage and the networks reflect this. I suspect this is about having a mobile access point at a fixed location which helps a little via antenna and positioning vs. a cell phone.

- mobile networks have been planned with totally different traffic assumptions and those are literally cemented into base-station locations.

- mobile is a shared medium with low constraints. It will be hard to guarantee minimum rates. Much harder than for fixed networks. There is a reason for the data caps - if there were not then competition would have long eliminated them.

- disincentives for scale: Providing data rates for one home may be easy. But if all the neighbors hop on that bandwagon then things get more difficult.

It is possible in principle but the cost for universal mobile access service and these bandwidth guarantees with the current technology may be quite high at this time. Anecdotal evidence of localized solutions also in other countries exist but can anyone point to a place where such a service has been deployed in a large country?

14
mpolichette 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah and the telecoms are going to charge for each device... with my home connection. I can serve all my devices locally from one trunk... With mobile I have to have a data plan for each device...
15
malchow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Clickbait headline.

FCC expresses possibility that in the near-future wireless connectivity may be more important to consumer internet users.

Admitting "we don't know which way this industry is going to go" is probably a healthy thing for government to do.

16
smsm42 1 day ago 1 reply      
Also, could somebody explain to me what is the function of FCC in setting those "standard" speeds?

> This would also be the first time that the FCC has set a broadband speed standard for mobile; at 10Mbps/1Mbps, it would be less than half as fast as the FCC's home broadband speed standard of 25Mbps/3Mbps.

I mean, what that "standard" does? Is it prohibited to sell connection slower than this? Clearly not, since there tons of home internet offers slower than 25/3. So what is the meaning of this standard, what consequences does it have? Of course the press, who is supposed to inform me, is too busy trying to propagandize me and forgets to explain what that all actually means. Could fellow HNians fill the gap?

17
rabboRubble 18 hours ago 0 replies      
American's don't need modern fancy cars either. We have surreys, wagons, and horseless carriages too.

(The sarcasm is real. Claiming that home internet access is unneeded implies a fundamental misunderstanding, a regressive misunderstanding, of how society has transformed in the past 20 years.)

18
dboreham 1 day ago 0 replies      
The need for high throughput residential connections is almost entirely driven by use of video streaming services (Netflix etc). So if you assume people don't need those (e.g. if you are a satellite tv company) then this makes sense.
19
stevefeinstein 1 day ago 1 reply      
The sentiment, that Americans don't NEED fast home internet is probably more accurate than not. It's not relevant though. Need has never been the driving force in the market. It's want, and if people want it, there's no reason they shouldn't have it. Why would the head of the FCC care if people need high speed? Only if he were in the pocket of the ISP's. Then he'd need a way to NOT create rules that mandates high speed internet. And if it's not a requirement, then it's up to the business to charge whatever they want without regulation. It's insidious, and quite clever albeit evil.
20
just2n 1 day ago 3 replies      
The title seems a little clickbaity. It seems all that's being said is the FCC is recommending a reasonable minimum, not a maximum. I don't think it makes sense to run gig fiber connections to rural homes unless someone is footing the bill, but they definitely should have some internet capability, and 10/1 mobile and 25/3 direct seems at least minimally viable.

This title makes it sound like the FCC is advocating that speeds above those are unnecessary for anyone, as if they're coming for your network speed. I don't get the sensationalism here, this hardly even seems newsworthy.

21
lnx01 1 day ago 0 replies      
And this is why Kenya has faster average mobile internet than the USA.
22
danjoc 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's too bad internet speeds went nowhere under President Obama's administration. According to Wikipedia, internet speeds are currently faster in Mongolia and Romania than in the US. I hope the change in leadership and changing regulations will help the US regain its competitive edge.
23
zeep 1 day ago 0 replies      
Symmetrical 2Gbps, which is offered by Comcast in some regions, is probably too fast for 99.99% of consumers... but it is nice if you have the option
24
norea-armozel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how long until Pai adds extra regulatory requirements for utility cooperatives that will spring up to kick the telcos out of the rural areas? I'm not joking about that notion since the telcos really hate cooperatives that spring up and replace or compete with them.
25
ams6110 1 day ago 0 replies      
10Mbps is more than I've had at home up until very recently.

It's fine for me; I work mostly in plain text and prefer it whenver there's an option. But undertand many people want more. Don't understand the FCC weighing in one way or the other. Should be up to private enterprise to provide what customers want to pay for. Get rid of the local monopolies, get out of the way, and watch what happens.

26
imron 1 day ago 0 replies      
sigh they're taking a leaf out of the Australian government's book.
27
rsj_hn 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are seriously becoming a third world country.

- 5300 water systems in violation of lead rules:http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/28/us/epa-lead-in-u-s-water-syste...

- rank 16 in road qualityhttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-sad-state-of-americas-roads/

-expensive, slow mobile phone service compared to rest of the worldhttp://time.com/money/3633758/wireless-cost-us-world-ofcom/

- Piss Poor electrical grid, with an increasing number of outageshttp://insideenergy.org/2014/08/18/power-outages-on-the-rise...

- 1 out of 9 bridges are structurally deficienthttps://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/19/transp...

- rising death rates for prime age whites due to massive drug epidemic, obesity, and lonelinesshttp://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/23/52108333...

- highest incarceration rate in the worldhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_ra...

- highest first day infant mortality in the industrialized worldhttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-has-highest-first-day-infant-...

- U.S. adults rank below average in basic educational skillshttps://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/08/us-adults-ran...

- Expensive, broken healthcare system that bankrupts families. We spend twice OECD average on a percent GDP basis with below average resultshttps://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/Health-at-a-Glance-2015-Ke...

- Expensive, broken tertiary education system that bankrupts students. We spend twice OECD average on tertiary education and get poor results.https://data.oecd.org/eduresource/spending-on-tertiary-educa...

- Awful, expensive secondary education system compared to rest of industrialized worldhttps://data.oecd.org/pisa/mathematics-performance-pisa.htm

- Slow, expensive broadband compared to rest of the worldhttp://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-falls-behind-rest-of-t...

-all of the above probably contributes to us ending up poorer (in terms of median wealth) than other industrialized nations even though per capita GDP is high and taxes are low

http://www.middleclasspoliticaleconomist.com/2012/07/us-trai...

28
basicplus2 1 day ago 0 replies      
More likely the FCC is doing the bidding of those who wish to squash competition.
29
shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah, corruption runs amok. May be Americans don't need corrupted FCC more?
30
tempodox 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm just flabbergasted by this preposterous proposition.
31
smsm42 1 day ago 2 replies      
> the 25/3 Mbps standard we propose would not even allow for a single stream of 1080p video conferencing, much less 4K video conferencing.

Could somebody explain to me why one needs 4K for video conferencing? No, I mean it'd be nice to have tons of bandwidth, but why 4K video conference is an absolute necessity? The article kinda makes it sound like not having 4K video conferencing is the state of absolute depravity and without it it can't be even called proper internet service. Can anybody explain it to me?

27
Learn Regex the Easy Way github.com
303 points by shubhamjain  1 day ago   65 comments top 19
1
maddyboo 1 day ago 9 replies      
My biggest issue with regular expressions is remembering the exact syntax of each of the different common regex engines. Javascript, Perl, `grep`, `grep -E`, vim, `awk`, `sed`, etc...

Each one seems to have slightly different syntax, require different characters to be escaped, has different defaults (is global search enabled by default? Multiline? What about case sensitivity?), some don't support certain lookarounds, how does grouping work, and so on.

2
clement75009 1 day ago 7 replies      
For me, the best Regex ressource is still http://regexr.com

It explains what each character does just by hovering over a regex. Best tool to learn or to fine tune your regular expression (with testing included).

3
reuven 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been teaching regular expressions for years, and offer a free online e-mail course on the subject (http://RegexpCrashCourse.com/).

This site is a very nice summary of regexp syntax and is written well -- but it's missing two crucial pieces that help people learn: Examples and exercises. Without practice, there's no way that people can remember the syntax.

4
modalduality 1 day ago 4 replies      
Good article (didn't realize there were other kinds of lookaround), but maybe the bottom should link to well-tested standards-based regexes instead.

 URL: ^(((http|https|ftp):\/\/)?([[a-zA-Z0-9]\-\.])+(\.)([[a-zA-Z0-9]]){2,4}([[a-zA-Z0-9]\/+=%&_\.~?\-]*))*$
I recently encountered a case where a URL had an underscore at the end of a subdomain name. It seems underscores are okay anywhere else, but while my friend on Windows was able to load the website, I wasn't (on Linux) using Firefox, curl, remote screenshot service which presumably ran Linux etc. According to various RFCs, they should be okay anywhere within the subdomain name.

Has anyone encountered this behavior? Couldn't find anything on the internet; maybe it's just my computer?

5
dayvid 23 hours ago 0 replies      
https://regexone.com/ helped me finally learn Regex in 2-3 hours.

It's a step-by-step interactive site. One of the best educational programming sites I've been to.

Testing Regex is a lot easier when you have the fundamentals down and there's a million resources to test Regex.

6
frou_dh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I learned regex the "Ambient" way.

i.e. Encountering them here, there and everywhere. Then one day realising you have a good knowledge of the subject without ever having set out to learn it.

7
retox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Waiting for the additional "Read someone else's Regex the easy way". I'm not holding my breath :)

Agree with others in that RegexBuddy is indispensable for a windows dev learning this magic stuff.

Some useful and interesting regex developments coming in the next version of JavaScript. Support for international text and (bleh) emoji incoming.

8
reificator 1 day ago 0 replies      
I spent some time reading some resource or another on how regexes work, but the vast majority of my learning has been trying things in https://regex101.com/ and seeing if they do what I want. The breakdown on the side of the page is especially helpful.
9
Groxx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
And when you think you've learned regex, learn that you haven't: http://fent.github.io/randexp.js (a regex "reverser" of sorts) [1]

Seriously. Test every non-trivial regex with something like this, you'll probably be surprised at how permissive most regexes are.

Regexes are great. They're super-concise and perform amazingly well. But they're one of the biggest footguns I know of. Treat them as such and you'll probably do fine.

---

[1] for instance, the URL regex they use is incorrect, and it's super obvious when you plug it into that site:

 ^(((http|https|ftp):\/\/)?([[a-zA-Z0-9]\-\.])+(\.)([[a-zA-Z0-9]]){2,4}([[a-zA-Z0-9]\/+=%&_\.~?\-]*))*$
`[[a-zA-Z0-9]\-\.]` you can't nest character sets like that. So this matches the letters "[]-." as well as all a-z,A-Z,0-9 ranges.

10
jules 1 day ago 1 reply      
I didn't truly understand regular expressions until I saw how they are executed. There are simple algorithms for executing them, so that might not be such a bad way to teach.
11
Willamin 1 day ago 0 replies      
The lack of readability of regex makes me wonder if there isn't a better way. I've seen Elm's parser which introduces a few neat concepts like parser pipelines. https://github.com/elm-tools/parser
12
gregmac 1 day ago 0 replies      
For some people Regex Golf [1] might be an interesting way to learn. You are actually building increasingly complex regex as you go, and can just look up bits of syntax you don't know as needed.

[1] https://alf.nu/RegexGolf

13
crncosta 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really enjoy this type of tutorial format, concise and easy to follow. Thanks for take time to produce it.
14
chenster 1 day ago 0 replies      
A picture is worth a thousand words. How about a visual regex tester - http://emailregex.com/regex-visual-tester/#a%5Cbc%5Cd*
15
VeejayRampay 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very good post. It has all the important information, provides clear examples, doesn't try to get too fancy or showboat. Well done.
16
j05huaNathaniel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Could use some work explaining capture groups
17
jwilk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Previously:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14846506

I'm afraid not much has been improved since then.

This is not a good learning source.

18
gmac 1 day ago 0 replies      
For an even-more-beginner's guide, see the slides to a session I teach to Econ postgrads once a year[1].

These introduces the metacharacters gradually, using a task-based approach. We start by finding street addresses, per https://xkcd.com/208/.

[1] http://mackerron.com/text/text-slides.pdf (page 19 onwards) with supporting resources at http://mackerron.com/text/

19
chenster 1 day ago 0 replies      
For email, regular expression, there's http://emailregex.com
28
Lazarus A Delphi-compatible cross-platform IDE lazarus-ide.org
234 points by Jack4E4B  1 day ago   171 comments top 19
1
rcarmo 1 day ago 5 replies      
I mentioned Lazarus in other threads a few days ago (since my kids are playing around with it) and it's great to see it as a top-level post. Some random thoughts:

- It's somewhat amusing to realize that in 2017 this is pretty much the easiest way to do a desktop app (besides RealBasic/Xojo which I've yet to try - was put off by their mandatory registration)

- I wish we had RAD environments like this for more languages (Racket, Python, etc. - even JS).

- On the Mac, installation is a bit fiddly. It needs a little polish and support (a standalone, integrated bundle would be better, or at the very least a unified installer).

- We've been retrofitting web UIs to desktops to such an extent (I'm looking at you, Electron) that the tiny, supremely efficient apps Lazarus spits out put the last couple of years into stark perspective (2GB RAM used by Slack, etc.)

I love Lazarus, and hope it helps resurrect the RAD approach for other languages - if anyone knows of any similar environments (besides QtCreator, etc.), could you share the links?

2
oregontechninja 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recently tried out Lazarus, and besides looking a bit dated, it works REALLY well. I had no Pascal experience so it was also overwhelming for a hello world app. But after the basic Pascal "Hello World" command line app, a GUI app didn't even require a tutorial to get working. Really impressed and am considering Pascal for a project.
3
WildParser 1 day ago 5 replies      
I've made the mistake to write a complex project in Free Pascal. As far as I can tell pretty much every release of Lazarus is breaking something.And surprisingly often those breaks are major (like e.g. broken multi-threading, broken-strings, ...).

For me the whole thing looks more like a playground for hobbyists and is not really useful for anything productive.There's not much continuity in the language. And for the devs something like 95% compatibility seems to be good enough.

For small projects it might be ok to use, but you better keep your snapshot of the compiler locked in a safe place.

On the other hand: If you're young and want to make history as the guy who replaced all those begin/end in pascal with smileys: This project might be your chance...

4
samuell 1 day ago 7 replies      
Lazarus/FPC checks so many nice boxes:

[x] Statically compiled

[x] Native UI on Linux/Mac/Win

[x] Typically compiled without code changes on Linux/Mac/Win

[x] Small binaries

[x] No GC

[x] Readable, somewhat python-like syntax

[x] Still, doesn't rely on indentation for nested blocks

[ ] (Fill in)

5
samuell 1 day ago 1 reply      
Btw, OmniPascal for VSCode is also worth a mention as an alternative for quick edits, or for coding those CLI apps in pure FPC. A really nice project, which also helps showing that Pascal is Alive and Kicking :)

http://www.omnipascal.com

(Only issue is Linux support is not (yet) on par with Windows and Mac ... but then, it is open source, so that could change!)

6
int_19h 1 day ago 2 replies      
While we're at it, for those times when you're hacking on console apps, FreePascal also has a very nice text-mode (TUI) IDE that is basically a Turbo/Borland Pascal 7.0 IDE clone - but cross-platform.

To do that, they had to port Turbo Vision (or rather its open source fork Free Vision). It's still a great TUI library... it's a shame it's Pascal-specific. Would be interesting to have an implementation of it for, say, Python, for system tools and the like.

7
whitea 1 day ago 1 reply      
mORMot framework is also a nice example for modern Pascal...https://synopse.info/fossil/wiki?name=SQLite3+Framework

It has DDD, SOA, MVC, ORM (even for NoSql), REST, caching, logging and security features and works with Lazarus.

8
bigtunacan 1 day ago 0 replies      
A bit funny seeing this on here tonight. My teenage daughter was looking to create a native desktop app and I pointed her to Lazarus just today. Then I login and check Hacker News...
9
samuell 1 day ago 1 reply      
One of the things I'm excited about, is using FPC/Lazarus as GUI for computationally heavy Go code (Now with the recent efforts to use Go for datascience ... see http://gopherdata.io), now since Go supports shared object (.so/.dll) files.

I collected my (very early) research on it in this thread:

https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php?topic=24948.0

... where some users report they tried it already. Seems to work, if not super smooth. Hope it can be improved in the future.

10
samuell 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the FPC/Lazarus project as a whole, it is also good news that there is some work going on to build up a foundation (it exists already), with funding and stuff, to support further development:

https://foundation.freepascal.org/

Among founders being Delphi luminaire Boian Mitov (author of Visuino / OpenWire / OpenWireStudio etc).

Hoping the foundation can take off with some good funding.

11
cturner 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use Free Pascal at times. In case there are any FP developers here: your build arrangements hamper my use. I tried installing earlier this week from source and could not get it going.

My ideal would be a single configure/Makefile combination in the root directory. Consider if the user does not have root, how are they to set a prefix?

The idea of the 'build' download is good, but not if it needs to link to recent shared-objects. Particularly recent shared objects like libc. Maybe you could put statically-linked tools in the 'build' version.

12
tomc1985 1 day ago 3 replies      
I miss the glory days of RAD
13
fithisux 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do not forget also the tremendous effort in the Free Pascal other big IDE

https://sourceforge.net/projects/mseide-msegui/

It is a pitty dev pascal didn't catch up or ported to FPC.

14
0xbear 1 day ago 1 reply      
Now someone just needs to clone C++ Builder and we'll be all set. Power of C++ with the simplicity of Delphi.
15
throwaway7645 1 day ago 2 replies      
I see Lazarus pop up on HN occasionally. It's an IDE for FreePascal right? I guess I'll have to open the article again. How are the database drivers? I've been told they're ageing. Is there 64 bit support for Windows or only 32?
16
scardine 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wish porting projects from Delphi was easier. I was trying to make Python bindings for the AcBR library[1] and failed miserably.

Shameless plug: if you think you are up to the task and is not too expensive contact paulo at xtend.com.br

[1] http://acbr.sourceforge.net/drupal/

17
systems 1 day ago 5 replies      
How do you avoid spaghetti code, in an environment like lazarus?
18
Jack4E4B 1 day ago 2 replies      
Lazarus is awesome because of the speed of the compiler, the fact that it has a GUI that works, and is OPEN SOURCE.

So one wonders WTH is going on with all the other compiled languages that have nothing like this? And no QT is not the answer, we need a built-in good enough GUI! =)

19
sctb 1 day ago 1 reply      
We've updated the description from Proving That Pascal Is Alive and Kicking Ass. Submitters: the guidelines ask that you please don't editorialize titles.
29
How I, a woman in tech, benefited from sexism in Silicon Valley huyenchip.com
245 points by florianmari  5 hours ago   170 comments top 32
1
imartin2k 3 hours ago 12 replies      
"I have the feeling that weve been only addressing one side of the story. Its the side where women are victims. Im here to tell the story of how I, as a woman in tech, benefited from sexism and that men can be victims too."

Something that keeps bugging me - and this is in no way limited to tech - how being a victim has become an identity to many, which is almost worn as a badge. While I do what I can to emphasize with every individual who has been exposed to discrimination, harassment (and while as a white man I experienced most likely much less of this, although not nothing), a scenario in which everyone walks around all day long feeling as the victim (followed by the inevitable selective perception and confirmation bias) cannot function.

I recently listened to a philosophy podcast which started with a line which has since been stuck in my head "In a time in which being a victim offers so much social capital...". (edit: I recalled the quote slightly inaccurately, but the point was the same: "In a culture in which there is so much social currency connected to being a victim..." In case you are curious, it's episode #105 of philosophizethis.org)

I don't know what to doabout it and I in no way want to diminish the harm that those who feel like victims experienced. But whenever victimhood is becoming an identity, things are getting out of hand.

(the feeling of being a systemic/structural victim can be found on all sides of the political/ideological/gender spectrum of course).

2
77pt77 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This text is the anecdotal version of this [1] paper

> The underrepresentation of women in academic science is typically attributed, both in scientific literature and in the media, to sexist hiring

> Here we report five hiring experiments in which faculty evaluated hypothetical female and male applicants, using systematically varied profiles disguising identical scholarship, for assistant professorships in biology, engineering, economics, and psychology.

> Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference.

> Comparing different lifestyles revealed that women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers and that men preferred mothers who took parental leaves to mothers who did not. Our findings, supported by real-world academic hiring data, suggest advantages for women launching academic science careers.

[1] http://www.pnas.org/content/112/17/5360.abstract

3
LifeQuestioner 4 hours ago 4 replies      
As a women in tech i'm starting to see another of these posts and thing URG Another*

Give some some more interesting tech posts dammit!

I've suffered sexism everywhere - not just in tech. Maybe i'm different because I enjoy writing code on my weekends, enjoy looking up the latest machine learning tools - that I really just ignore the sexism, because I want to make more things.

As long as you're not explicitly stopping me writing interesting things, say what you like about me. Stop me from writing stuff I want, and i'll just leave with my hefty portfolio of diverse projects.

I was the kid in school who would play football with other guys who would try and stop me, I just learnt to play better than them, because I loved playing, more than I cared about their sexism.

(note, not trying to belittle anyone, I understand these are real issues and each story is different! Mine is in no way representitive).

But I hate the rhetoric even coming from women's posts - that seems to put us down ourselves.

Even if there's sexism, as i've encountered from a kid, I'm staying because I love to code and make new things and it's a natural part of where the world is at the moment. I can change it, by staying and breaking people's perceptions.

4
rayiner 3 hours ago 6 replies      
The focus on individuals, of either gender, is short sighted. I've worked as an engineer in a male dominated environment, and a lawyer in gender balanced ones. When I think of what I'd want my daughter to do, I can't help but think she'd have an easier time maximizing her potential in the latter field, where she doesn't have to deal with the awkwardness of being the only woman on her team, or working only for men team leaders. Today, much of the pipeline in law is both gender balanced and gender blind. There are no programs to encourage girls to take the LSAT, no gnashing of teeth about not enough women graduating with JDs or applying to law firms. It's not perfect (only a third of new partners are women, versus half of new associates) but we're light years ahead of tech.

It wasn't always that way. Fifty years ago, only 5% of women were lawyers (long after they were legally permitted to join the bar). People rolled out the same tropes--the work was too detail oriented and analytical for women, who preferred to work with people and children. They wouldn't want to deal with the stress and long hours. Etc. That turned out to be bunk. Now, people who want to maintain the idea that women are predisposed to not going into tech have to resort to distinguishing what were archetypally "male" fields like law by redefining those fields to be women-friendly ones.

The legal profession fixed the problem of historic discrimination in the field by not being gender blind. Schools and law firms gnashed teeth about their gender ratios, like tech schools and companies are doing now. And while that may have been "unfair" to certain individuals at certain moments in time, it was the only way to fix society's earlier sins.

A skewed gender ratio that is the product of past discrimination is itself a form of discrimination. If you want to claim to have leveled the playing field, then you have to actually level it and see if it stays level on its own. In law and medicine, that turned out to be the case. I don't expect the situation will be different in tech.

5
Aqua 4 hours ago 6 replies      
IMHO the very idea of forcefully pulling women into the tech field is the root of evil here. This philosophy gives birth to the stereotype that women are worse than men in engineering and science, because someone who is employed based on their sex, orientation, color, etc. rather than actual skills and competences makes life miserable for their team members who then start thinking that some particular group is generally worse than the other.Stop shoving tech down their throat and absurd stereotypes and sexism will disappear on their own without the need of silencing someones view by force.
6
macspoofing 4 hours ago 2 replies      
>I dont like those 48 hour coding hackathons without sleep or shower. They are useless and detrimental to health.

These are almost exclusively for kids in school or just out of school. Like camping - those that hate them, really hate them, and for others it's a lot fun. If you hate them, don't do them, they aren't necessary. You can be a perfectly good engineer without them.

>I dont like the representation of female engineers on TV, always nerdy, unattractive, and without much of a social life.

Female engineers? Oh man. She must have missed the generic Scientist-guy and Engineer-guy of the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Rick Moranis made a career playing those guys. The engineer bro-culture and a certain social status that is assigned to software or computer engineers and geekdom in general is a new phenomena. It was not cool to want to be a computer engineer or a geek for the vast majority of the last half century. It sort of reminds me of the praise the Wonder Woman movie got for being a breakthrough moment for women. I couldn't help but think, where were all these people in the 80s when nerds and geeks were made fun of for reading Wonder Woman and other comic books. My sister and her friends made fun of me and my friends for that! Nobody hid or put up walls to these comics from anybody.

>Ive read Megan McArdles essay and relate with her feeling of isolation as Im often the only woman in an environment dominated by men.

That wasn't quite the point of the essay though it is an interesting interpretation.

>What we need to do is to make it easier for women to stay in tech...I dont know how we can make it more fun to women in tech.

That's kind of the crux of the problem. Nobody knows how to fix the undetectable, secret societal pressures that steer women away from STEM and into Humanities.

Also, it's a job. It won't be fun for the vast majority of people. Why do jobs have to be fun? My father worked on the line at a factory all his life - it wasn't fun.

7
had2makeanacct 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
I always look at affirmative action in the US with the perspective of someone looking at the reservations given to the "lower castes" in India to make up for the oppression of the past. If a "general category" (upper caste) guy and a "lower caste" guy with the same financial history appear for an examination to get into a Law College, Engineering College, Medical, etc then they lower caste person needs to achieve much less scores to get in. They have seats reserved for them which can never be transferred to a general category person even if no reservation caste person decides to appear for the exam.

You can't blame people if they are apprehensive about going to a doctor who comes from the lower caste, you'll always doubt his skills because he had it easier.

8
JamesMcMinn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually avoid commenting on these sort of posts because frankly I don't believe I have a lot I can add to the discussion, but this is an interesting read, and I think the final paragraph is probably correct in how it frames the current situation - neither "side" will be happy until both are happy. The question isn't "should we be doing something?", it's "how do we do it?" and how do we have that discussion without it turning into something else?

At the same time, we've also got to remember that this isn't just an issue in tech, it's an issue across the whole of society, and as an industry we should be looking at the broader picture, because this isn't an issue that technology can face alone, but it is one that affects tech more than many other industries.

I really hope this is something we, as a society and industry, can improve upon. I'm lucky enough to work with a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds and cultures, and they're all great at what they do, but very very few of them are female. I'd love to think that I was above any bias (both positive and negative) that this introduces, but the fact is, I'm probably not because I'm only human. Until we can make tech more balanced, it's a bias that I will have to consider and try to overcome.

9
arkh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> I dont like the representation of female engineers on TV, always nerdy, unattractive, and without much of a social life.

Seriously? I agree with the lack of social life. But how come most of the tech people on TV (especially SF) are women? And it's not a new trend (Stargate, X-Files etc.). Maybe the author does not think they are attractive because she does not use the same criteria most male use.

> I dont like those 48 hour coding hackathons without sleep or shower.

I let you on a little secret: most male programmers hate those too.

If you want to make tech attractive to women you have to improve its work/life balance: less hours. So 9/5 jobs which are already available in lot of huge corporations. But yes that's less glamorous or rewarding than the startup scene.

And about the chicken and egg problem? Just start your own company.

10
spodek 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Reading The Myth of Male Power led to situations like these make a lot more sense. It offers a different perspective than the predominant view that I find more consistent with experience.

I read it because I thought for sure the author was misguided and I would find flaws and problems. Instead I found myself learning and growing.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0425181448/ref=sr_1_...

11
userbinator 4 hours ago 6 replies      
Every time this subject gets brought up, I keep wondering why it seems to be nearly exclusive to the US; East Europe and Asia in particular, for example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14164600

I while ago, visited a Chinese software/hardware company and half if not more of the employees I saw were female. To my knowledge, there is essentially no explicit "we need more girls in tech" movement there.

12
masondixon 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> Lowering your hiring standards for women can give people like me the lingering self doubt that maybe I wasnt good enough. Worse, it gives many techbros reasons to believe that his female colleagues arent as good as his, and act accordingly.

As a male, this has always been my main argument against affirmative action.

Too many SV white-knights feel they are helping simply because they are well intentioned. But good intentions do not always lead to the best outcomes.

And the costs are these "lingering self doubts", and teams being suspicious of "diversity hires".

Self-respect is very hard to quantify, but there is a distinct need for humans to be respected and authentically appreciated, and the extreme advocacy for females is sapping away this motivating force that is essential to work and life.

13
creo 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I have similar view to her. Its kinda harder for me to say it because im a man.

There is also a story behind my view. It goes like this:Im a runner. Not very good, not very fast, just average. Most of the time, im in the middle of my category. All local races are like 80% man and 20% woman. So while im in the middle, my female colleague running same pace is almost always on the podium. It works in her favor. IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT SHES BETTER/WORSE OR FAVORED/DISCRIMINATED. It just doesn't mean anything, So why we have that kinda ridiculous talk in IT? Who benefits from dividing communities?

14
antirez 4 hours ago 1 reply      
About the Selection Leader story, it may not be that we have a different scale for men and women, but just that, since people are aware of a potential negative bias towards women, they unconsciously try to avoid the error of giving a worse score to the woman, so they ended boosting the score as a "protection" mechanism. Since we are human it is very hard to avoid this kind of mistakes, especially given that the whole discrimination problem is handled with such a tension that people over-react in all the directions at this point.
15
bracebreak22 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I just recently left a tech start-up where the "look at how awesome and diverse we are" rhetoric was so bad that I couldn't take it anymore. When I first joined the company, I didn't even bat an eye that every single employee was a white guy (Hispanic male here). It was only later after their recruiter who, I befriended, told me I was their first "diversity hire". I laughed and took it tongue in cheek.

However, over time, they formed a "diversity team" to emphasize in making the company more diverse. Later on, I came to find out that this company did not care about the individuals joining the company, but rather the "diversity quota" they set to meet. Instead of hearing "we hired a great engineer who is great in xyz", we would instead hear the likes of "Susan accepted our offer letter, we finally have a female engineer on our team"; "Tim will be joining our Product team. Hooray for gay!" (Yes, this was actually posted on a slack channel one of the founders).

It became clear that this company was more worried about having mascots rather than seeking talented diverse individuals. I pissed me off so much at how condescending the founders would be when communicating with "non-traditional" employees and how they thought they were such great, progressive leaders.

16
daeken 4 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was 16, I was in a horrible car accident. I was out of school for something like 6 weeks. During that time, I built a project that got me into Forbes a few months later, and into my first real job. I benefited greatly from that car accident. Would I like to thank the responsible parties? No.

This justification is ridiculous. Just because sexism makes things easier for some doesn't make the statement "Sexism isnt making it harder for women to enter tech." any less ridiculous.

Sexism makes the entire industry worse. It holds down some talented people (e.g. the vast majority of women with an interest in security, the men in her examples, and likely any unattractive women in similar situations to her examples (as they're judged far more harshly, again subconsciously)), while lifting up others who are less talented.

17
jansho 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone here mentioned that women are being pressured to join STEM, and that this is "evil." A bit strong but I agree that this may backfire on us. Who doesn't want a more open environment where everyone can feel comfortable in. But lately, I'm sensing the diversity discussion shifting from "we are the victims" (IMO while true, not very useful) to "we are better than you." That does no service to anyone at all; suddenly we see each other in gender camps and there's a battle line drawn in between. Hey I also don't want to be identified by my gender only thanks.

It's a difficult subject because the issue is actually real. I've experienced it myself, and wish that things are different. I fully support incentives to get more women into tech, but the way we're going about it now is perhaps too much in the face. Let's not forget that diversity means inclusion of all groups, so that the majority and the many minorities are considered for. It may seem messy but IMO the best we can do is to be compassionate to one another, which yes, may mean some (acceptable) give-and-take from everyone.

18
g_lass 3 hours ago 1 reply      
A company I used to work at has a 25% female target that was informally backed up by fewer promotion points for the hiring manager if not met. That means, if you are a woman (as I am), and you're one of the four applicants then you'll be hired. Even worse, we had intern slots that were female only. They weren't advertised as such, but male applicants were ignored. Is this how we get "diversity"?
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rsp1984 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
I dont like those 48 hour coding hackathons without sleep or shower. They are useless and detrimental to health. I dont like techbros hangouts, with beers, playing pool, and occasional jerking off jokes.

Thanks for saying this. I feel the exact same way, and I'm male.

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babesh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think I have seen a similar pattern in interviews where men actually give women higher scores for the same performance as men but women would have no compunction giving the same women the actual lower score they deserve. The reason is that the men don't want to appear sexist. The same goes for promotions.

On the flip side, there is discrimination against women too with less pay for equal work. Prettier women would also get more 'attention' from coworkers which could be especially an issue if it were from a higher up.

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diegoperini 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Can be off-topic but this piece must resonate more.

"I dont like those 48 hour coding hackathons without sleep or shower. They are useless and detrimental to health. I dont like techbros hangouts, with beers, playing pool, and occasional jerking off jokes. I dont like feeling like a piece of furniture to add to the companys diversity. I dont like my male teammates to think that I got to where they are only because Im female. I dont like the representation of female engineers on TV, always nerdy, unattractive, and without much of a social life."

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dandare 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Who wants to play an Arguman game with me? Not specifically about the diversity memo but about positive discrimination in general.

http://en.arguman.org/positive-discrimination-at-work-is-imm...

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danso 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> Sexism isnt making it harder for women to enter tech. From my personal experiences, sexism makes it even easier for women to enter tech, though I understand that my experiences dont generalize to that of other women.

The OP may have personally benefited from sexism. I don't understand why that leads to the assertion of "Sexism isn't making it harder for women to enter tech" when her experience seems to better support, "Sexism doesn't necessarily make it harder for women to enter tech"

Edit: Not being pedantic for pedantic' sake. The OP's assertion inherently contradicts the assertions of women who do believe that they were hindered by sexism. So I'm genuinely confused if the OP believes that assertion as it is written, or if it's a case of imprecise wording.

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js8 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This kind of reminds me of this episode: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Opportunities_(Yes_Minis...

I think the authors have nailed it. There is a lot of posturing, but at the end of the day, most people for whom it is all done, ostensibly, do not want quotas or special favors.

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0xfaded 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I want to point out this passage:

"But I was accepted, while all of my friends werent. I just thought that it was because I prepped a lot for the interviews and my preparation paid off."

It's likely that the preparation did pay off and possible that the author was as smart as her friends but not confident enough to believe it.

I've always been a snarky know-it-all, and honestly when I don't have the answers I tend to extrapolate (read bs). It was only after talking to a long time friend who identified as having impostor syndrome I realised that this behaviour could be harmful.

She is a software engineer, beat me in school and should be running rings around me.

Take it from a snark, confidence doesn't always mean smarter.

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brad0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> I dont like feeling like a piece of furniture to add to the companys diversity.

This is a great point. Companies are still sexist when there's a 2:1 chance a female will be hired over males with equivalent skills.

I'm happy there's some discourse around these topics right now.

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randallsquared 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> I dont like those 48 hour coding hackathons without sleep or shower.

Every time I think I might be working too much, I hear that it's ordinary to work way more than I ever do, and I am reassured...

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zelos 3 hours ago 0 replies      
>I dont like those 48 hour coding hackathons without sleep or shower. They are useless and detrimental to health. I dont like techbros hangouts, with beers, playing pool, and occasional jerking off jokes.

I think that's a very small section of the tech world, though. I've never seen or heard about that kind of behaviour outside of SV startup scene. Admittedly I'm a dull corporate developer, working in decidedly untrendy technologies in London.

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MichaelBurge 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The industry is legally forbidden from discussing this subject, so all discussions here or elsewhere will inevitably miss the point. And as members of the public, Google will tell us whatever mitigates their risk the best. You want freedom of speech and the ability to make arguments, you don't work for a public company. And trying to debate it, is like trying to debate Galileo while the inquisition is in the room.

Corporations are required to save all electronic records for SOX auditing, and the State of California might decide to help themselves to those records when their Attorney General is trying to make a name for himself by bringing a gender discrimination lawsuit. That's why you fire people who make a habit of saying incriminating things in easily-searchable electronic format.

For a similar reason, they should probably fire every Google employee who talked about it on the public internet. Very high chance of being troublemakers who draw attention from the government.

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_pmf_ 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As I said in another comment: in addition to people in favor of affirmative action and people opposed to affirmative action, there's the large class of people who are in favor of affirmative action, but against the political correctness pressure of having to act like they believe this in for the benefit of all instead of the explicit benefit of the affected minority.

I am for affirmative action (as originally intended), and I treat coworkers whom I assume (in my flawed prejudiced manner) to have gotten here through AA with the same respect as if I did not assume that they were hired because of AA (and stop respecting them if they don't prove themselves as suitable for the job, as I would do with non AA coworkers), but I refuse to sign the "any kind of diversity magically improves everything" manifesto.

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raisinbread1234 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"You are a sexist" is the new weapon for women these days. Just say that and every common sense argument loses and everyone just shuts their mouth.
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jlebrech 3 hours ago 0 replies      
equal opportunity is like being given better equipment at the start of a videogame where everyone else has to learn the game's mechanics. at some point you never learned some of those early game skills to get past a certain point.
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Ask HN: Which companies give programmers offices?
296 points by jjazwiecki  1 day ago   234 comments top 65
1
msluyter 1 day ago 10 replies      
On the general question of open vs. private offices, my views have tempered over time. The first time I worked in an open office, I hated it. But I've come to realize that a lot depends on the layout of the office and that there are better and worse ways to configure one.

The first case -- the one I hated -- had a) long rows of desks, b) bright overhead fluorescent lights, c) a lot of noise due to being in a large room with sales/marketing, d) a lot of visual distractions due to people walking up & down the aisles, and e) few available areas to go to collaborate away from your desks.

Now, I'm also in an open office, but I find it quite livable, because: a) my desk faces the wall, for fewer visual distractions, b) the room is comfortably lit (ie, not too bright)[1], c) it's a smaller room with only engineering and is generally quieter[2], d) there are enough areas to go if you need to collaborate.

All this is to say that, while the evidence is that open offices generally suck, there's probably a number of ways to ameliorate their problems to some degree without having to resort to private offices. I don't think I'd prefer an office to my current setup, actually.

[1] I think this element is underrated. In fact, I'd be curious to know if there's a verifiable correlation between brightness levels and how loud people tend to talk. There's something about a dim room that seems to induce people to lower their voices.

[2] Small, but not too small. There's a sort of sweet spot. I was once in a room with 3 other people and it was maddening because it was generally quiet but every little noise -- coughing, swallowing, etc... -- was seemingly amplified by the overall quietness to became hugely annoying. (An inverse concept explains why I can work quite well in a coffee shop despite the background din.)

2
jonhmchan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stack Overflow does. I'm an engineer there and we still think providing private offices to our engineering team is important for their productivity. This includes engineers, SREs, designers, data scientists, PMs, and others.

However, most of our engineering team is remote and if they're not in one of our locations, we give them pretty much what they'd like to build their own home office or go to a coworking space.

For me, I'm actually nomadic, so I tend to work from wherever I'm staying or end up in cafes a lot of time. I still get the support I need if my work "station" isn't optimal.

TL;DR Stack Overflow provides private offices, but is really flexible, especially given its remote policy.

3
orange_bear 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Apple placed me in an experimental building where they were changing the interior design constantly, trying to decide how to design their new "space ship" building. The whole time, I fumed at no longer having an office and having to work in an open office design. I could not focus due to audio and visual interruptions while I worked (programmer) in the open office spaces. But no one ever asked me for my opinion about the experimental open office environments!

Now this: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/08/08/apple-pa..."Apple staffers reportedly rebelling against open office plan at new $5 billion HQ"

Glad I wasn't the only coder there who utterly despised the move to the open office design.

4
kuharich 1 day ago 3 replies      
Old Microsoft: it was a BillG ethic: anyone touching software got an office: software design engineers, PM's, QA, even admins ... it allowed one to be quiet and focus. And signaled to co-workers - do not disturb ...
5
nfriedly 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a small private office that I just lease myself. I bicycle in every day and work "remote" for IBM. It's fantastic.

If I want some noise, I'll work from home (I have a 3-year old.)

The down side is that IBM's management has recently done a 180 on remote working and is now "strongly encouraging" me to move to one of their offices and work in a cubicle.

I'm pretty sure they won't actually fire me for not moving, but any promotion is probably going to be harder to come by until things (hopefully) swing back in the other direction.

Or I'll just retire. The benefit of living in Ohio is that I can save like 40% of my salary and still live comfortably. (And lease an office for $225/month!)

6
qnk 1 day ago 2 replies      
Stack Overflow has blogged about their private offices for developers many times before. This is a post from 2015, I'm not sure if that's still the case: https://stackoverflow.blog/2015/01/16/why-we-still-believe-i...
7
module0000 1 day ago 3 replies      
My programming career involved an office at every position(Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cisco, HP, XTime, VMWare, and a handful of private equity groups). As I was transitioning into another field, the "open office" craze was taking over. I could be wrong, but I have a strong feeling I would not have enjoyed it. Nothing like being an hour into analyzing a core dump to be jerked back to reality by someone interrupting you!
8
pixelmonkey 21 hours ago 2 replies      
My team at Parse.ly is fully remote/distributed -- and one of the motivating reasons I formed the team that way was to reproduce the feel of Fog Creek's "bionic office", but in each engineer's home office space.

I discussed this a little in my "Notes on Distributed Teams" presentation here:

http://pixelmonkey.org/pub/distributed-teams/notes/#open-pla...

Here's how my personal home office looks:

https://flic.kr/p/v1NZ73

(Shameless plug, here are the positions we're hiring for, if you're interested! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14902227)

9
jaegerpicker 23 hours ago 4 replies      
That's why programmers should work remotely. It's the best thing I've ever done for my career. Moved back from Management to IC because it was remote and it's been amazing.
10
LVB 1 day ago 0 replies      
At Garmin in Salem, OR, they have four-person quads. These are enclosed spaces with an additional central table, storage, ceiling and door. Though not my own office, I liked it. Quiet, everyone had a corner with ample space, and a nice group dynamic formed. Devs would move occasionally and you'd get to know other people pretty well.
11
sizzzzlerz 22 hours ago 3 replies      
My 600-person company, a wholly-owned part of a much, much larger national multi-billion dollar company has single or double private offices, with doors, for the entire staff, new hires, IT, admin, everyone, at our headquarters in SV as well as our smaller, satellite offices. AFAIK, there is no plan to change this. If, however, our current lease isn't renewed and the company moves, all bets are off. I've heard rumors that our parent company isn't happy with the "wasted" space. We'll see.
12
pyrox420 1 day ago 1 reply      
AccuLynx - we aren't even in a tech hotbed. Just little ol' Beloit, WI. We got to build a brand new office building with offices for all devs. Great place to work, awesome perks. We saw a marked throughput improvement after moving to the new office.
13
mpa000 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I manage developers for the publishing arm of a professional association. While I did not have an office when I started as a dev here over a decade ago, all of our developers now have their own offices while we two managers share one. Priorities.

Immediately prior to this, as a junior member of a non-IT/IS-department rapid development group for a utility company, I was relegated to whatever cubicle they could find to stuff me in, usually on the periphery of the call center area. This is also where they'd stick the COBOL guys they'd had to hire back as consultants, along with others who didn't fit into any of the (many) union contract workflows.

(I was a listed as a line-item in the same cost code group as a rented photocopier or scanner, meaning that for most of my tenure there I had ZERO contact with anyone from HR. It was glorious.)

14
gwbas1c 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I'm less concerned about an "office." A cube with high walls is more similar to an "office" than an open layout where everyone shares a table.

What's more important is company culture. Does your company expect you to accept interruptions at any time for any reason, no matter how trivial? Is your manager willing to run interference when suddenly every new employee in every department shows up expecting that you'll handhold them?

You can have an office with a bad company culture; you'll find that your office door is always full of lurkers, or you'll find that you can't walk between your office and the bathroom without getting mobbed with "urgent" requests that need your attention immediately.

What's more important is to ensure that management avoids distractions, that newcomers in other departments are trained, and that processes are established and followed when needed. Handholding should not be required from any engineers; instead mentoring and process refinement goes a lot further than a door that you can close.

15
batbomb 1 day ago 6 replies      
Most people programming in National Labs get offices, though you might need to share with one person. If you are in the bay area, think about SLAC or LBNL.
16
s1gs3gv 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I think choice is important. Some people prefer one, some the other. The best working environment I've experienced in my life as a software developer was at Bell Labs in the 80s, where small private offices was the norm.

On the other hand, its good to have open working areas available when they are appropriate. In Bell Labs, we'd often congregate near the railings overlooking the Holmdel atrium while our build finished or downstairs in the large open seating areas.

17
jedwardhawkins 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Micro Focus in Provo, UT provides offices. The last company I worked for was a mature startup with an open floor plan. Most of the noise complaints were mitigated by noise cancelling headphones which were purchased for each engineer.
18
baccredited 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had multiple federal government programming jobs with offices. I consider it a requirement at this point.
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caboteria 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The last place I worked where I got a private office (and probably the last place I ever will) was the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA, a federally-funded R&D corporation. Level AC-5 and above got solo offices, AC-4's had to share.
20
DarkContinent 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Epic in Madison, WI, gives all employees their own offices. (I can't find a source but I've been on a tour.)
21
rbanffy 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Two places that allow you (actually they prefer) to work remotely are Avaaz (avaaz.org) and Canonical. Both may share the cost of a rented office. I can't speak highly enough of either - awesome teams, awesome missions.
22
hack_mmmm 23 hours ago 1 reply      
2 years back We used to get a cabin office @Qualcomm for all Engineers same as VPs. Now Staff Engineers and above still get cabin office and others have moved to cubicles. We have a lab where most of us sit in the afternoon to collaborate. I must say this is the only place where I saw in my career where a fresh grad got cabin offices. It feels great to code in isolation uninterrupted. It also feels great to collaborate in lab with other folks and also code there.
23
borplk 1 day ago 6 replies      
Do pretty much all programmers in Microsoft get their own office?

Is it as simple as that or there's more to it?

24
rwoodley 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've worked for financial firms for 31 years. Almost all of that time, I've been a programmer on a trading desk sitting right next to traders. There is constant noise and shouting. I can tune out a lot. EXCEPT: TV noise, and idle chit chat like you'd have down at the pub. As long as people are focused on work, I can tune it whatever they say. Strange.
25
DavidThi808 23 hours ago 0 replies      
We mostly have 2 people/office. We would have done individual offices but the office space we found to rent was perfect except the offices were larger and so it was a LOT cheaper to use the existing build-out.

It is working well. People mostly are heads down getting their work done. So add Windward Studios to the list where all developers get offices.

26
zodnas 1 day ago 0 replies      
All full-time employees at SAS have their own office.
27
luu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Microsoft is switching from offices to open office plans. Buildings with offices are slowly being remodeled to open plan.

My first team started off two-to-an-office (unless you had something like 5 or 6 years of seniority, in which case you'd get your own office), but they moved to open offices when their building got remodeled.

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bsimpson 21 hours ago 0 replies      
At Google, it depends on which building you're in. I sit in an office with 3 other people. My manager sits in an open pod in the hallway.
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Bahamut 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I have my own office at Apple here in Cupertino (just a software engineer)...I'm glad that almost all our teams are moving to Infinite Loop as opposed to the new campus :) . Most of our offices hold two people though (still better than open offices!).
30
neofrommatrix 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Oracle does provide private offices in their Santa Clara location. This has mostly to do with this being the old Sun Microsystems buildings. It might have changed now, though after rapid expansion of their public cloud engineering group.
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Kluny 1 day ago 2 replies      
Automattic. But it's remote, you have to supply your own office. They contribute $250 toward co-working space.
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drfuchs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Adobe in San Jose. (At least it used to.)
33
msukmanowsky 1 day ago 2 replies      
Parse.ly is 100% remote and I've got a pretty sweet home office :)
34
programmarchy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked for a successful medium sized business called SpeakWrite early in my career that specialized in voice transcription for the legal industry. The company was founded by a former lawyer, and the office culture was very traditional. The software team was treated with respect, paid well, and everyone had their own office. It was great! Having worked in tech/startup culture since then, I much prefer the traditional office culture. Now I work remotely as a consultant and have my own office, but miss working on a closely knit team.
35
nxc18 1 day ago 0 replies      
Esri gives just about everyone their own office; aside from people displaced by moves or visiting, I've yet to encounter a programmer without one.
36
Balgair 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Most DoD and DoE jobs/contractors have personal offices. In fact, I've never seen one that doesn't at least have a cube-farm and most just have a personal office and then meeting rooms and then lab-space, depending on the job. Cubes are terrible in their own right, but it's better than an open office by a lot. At least you have somewhere to put pictures of your kids up at eye level.
37
rspeer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Luminoso, a natural language processing company in Cambridge, MA.
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tibbon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
At least give me my own 64sqft cube, and then have some decent lighting. I'd far rather live in a cubefarm than be rubbing elbows with the person beside me. It's not perfect, but having some degree of "my space" is really essential.

Oddly, I had my own office when I was working in IT at 17, but now it's harder to find.

39
coderjames 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Universal Avionics provides their Engineers private offices. It was important to the founder of the company, so when a new building was constructed it was specifically arranged to provide as many offices as possible, even if some are internal (no outside window).
40
thehardsphere 1 day ago 4 replies      
I would hope most companies that consider software to be their core business give programmers offices, even if they have to share those offices with another person on the same team. Most companies that do not often consider programmers secondary to their core business, which is a good reason not to work there if you have a choice.
41
matheweis 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I shared a two person office at the university that I worked at before my current job. If that sounds like a good deal in exchange for 50% of the industry salary, I believe they're hiring... :)
42
rajeshp1986 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think any decent size company could afford to do that in Bay Area. The real estate prices are too high to give personal offices to everyone and that's why open office plans are adopted.
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TallGuyShort 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft comes to mind? I've only been in a couple of buildings in the Seattle campus, but it was the typical open-air shared desks that you see in many other software companies recently. Are they known for using desks otherwise?
44
mindcrime 21 hours ago 0 replies      
When the day comes that Fogbeam Labs has an actual office, and employees, I absolutely intend to make sure that everybody has a private office with a door. Unfortunately, I can't say when that will be.
45
nhumrich 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The book peopleware argues for the middle ground. Shared offices. Rooms with a door, with 3-4 people. You have quick collaboration, but also are closed off from unrelated distraction.
46
omg2k 1 day ago 0 replies      
MathWorks (Natick, MA).
47
dsfyu404ed 22 hours ago 0 replies      
If your work is classified you almost certainly get an office.
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alok-g 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Qualcomm
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ryanSrich 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Work for companies that support remote work. You'll always have a private office.
51
bebop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyone at ESRI has their own office.
52
factotum 1 day ago 1 reply      
Reynolds and Reynolds in Houston.
53
kk3399 1 day ago 3 replies      
Epic systems
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dacracot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lawrence Livermore Nat'l Laboratory. Everyone has an office with a door.
55
meddlepal 21 hours ago 0 replies      
PTC in Needham, MA does if you're on the ProE/Creo team
56
rurban 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Cpanel, Houston Texas
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bostik 20 hours ago 0 replies      
We have team offices at Smarkets.
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rdiddly 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Intel still has the old-school high-walled cubicles in some places. But gradually, floor by floor, building by building, they've been renovating, and you know what that means! More openness. To their credit the new motif is 1) more aesthetically pleasing, and 2) not TOTALLY open.

In other words, not this fuckin' nightmare...http://workdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Open-plan-o......but more like a range going from this...https://media.glassdoor.com/l/ce/49/d7/6c/intel-office.jpg...to this...http://media.glassdoor.com/m/2d/0e/af/40/desk-with-a-view.jp......and even this...https://media.glassdoor.com/l/17/25/41/7c/intel-office.jpg

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danesparza 1 day ago 0 replies      
You mentioned it in the question already, but when I worked at Microsoft as a contractor I got an office.
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starbuxman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be more appealing for companies to allow their employees to work remotely?
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suhith 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fog Creek Software does iirc
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carapace 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm literally about to go talk to recruiters and I'm going to try it: I'll take $20,000 off of my pay if co will provide an office with a door I can close.

I'll report back what they say.

I just recently was working in an open office and the difference between daytime and evening (after everyone else left) was dramatic.

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ozzmotik 23 hours ago 0 replies      
i had my own office at cPanel, albeit a small onebut it was a pleasant personal space.
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jps359 13 hours ago 0 replies      
ibm
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holbue 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Who else read "... gives programers coffees"? :-D

PS: Seriously, free coffee is more important to me than an office. I like open working environments.

       cached 11 August 2017 15:11:01 GMT